Doctors’ dubious admission process courts controversy

  • National Academy of Medical Sciences
- NAYAK PAUDEL, Kathmandu
National Academy of Medical Sciences Two candidates filed cases against the Health Ministry at the apex court for recommending ineligible candidates for government seats

Nov 23, 2018-The admission process for new batch of DM (Doctorate in Medicine) and MCh (Magister of Chirurgiae) at the National Academy of Medical Sciences (NAMS) has been mired in controversy after two candidates filed cases against the Ministry of Health and Population at the Supreme Court for recommending ineligible candidates for  government seats.

Dr Naveen Mahasheth and Dr Bhubaneshwor Yadav filed cases on October 28 and October 30 respectively, accusing the ministry of recommending ineligible candidates who did not even meet the criteria to take the entrance exam. “We allowed the candidates to take the entrance exam following the ministry’s recommendation and gave them priority during the result as per our rules and regulations,” Dr Peeyush Dahal, assistant dean of NAMS told the Post.

NAMS and the ministry follow the provision which requires a government doctor, who passes MD on the government quota, should fulfil a three-year service bond with the government to qualify for the DM and MCh exams.

As per the selection process of NAMS, government candidates are also eligible for paid study leave. Other candidates will be considered for admission only if there are no successful government candidates in the available seats.

However, there is another provision which allows a government doctor to break the three-year bond with the government. “Government doctors may break the bond if they have completed two years of government service and ask for unpaid leave for further studies,” added Dr Dahal.

As per NAMS regulations, government candidates must present a letter showing that they have been granted paid study leave before being considered for admission.

“We have not received a letter for any of the five government doctors in DM and MCh. We did receive a letter from the ministry suggesting that an acceptance letter for paid leave will take some time.

As we cannot suspend the classes, we allowed the five doctors to attend the classes,” added Dr Dahal.

Dr Mahaseth, an alternative candidate for MCh Neurosurgery, said he moved the Supreme Court after his seat was granted to the government doctors who did not meet the criteria.

NAMS admitted Dr Binit Kumar Jha and Dr Sushil Mohan Bhattarai, two of the five government doctors, in the MCh Neurosurgery programme following ministry’s assurance that they have fulfilled all the criteria.

“A government doctor should have completed three years of government service after completing the MD (Doctor of Medicine) course. Dr Bhattarai has only served for two years after completing MD in surgery from BP Koirala Institute of Health Sciences, Dharan, in 2016,” Dr Mahaseth told the Post.

Following the Supreme Court case against the Health Ministry and queries from alternative candidates, the ministry had also discussed the issue on a couple of

occasions.

“The ministry is concerned about the issue. The court will take action if anyone is found flouting the rules,” said Dr Surendra Kumar Yadav, state minister for health and population.

Even officials at the ministry said that under the prevailing regulations, the government doctors cannot pursue DM or MCh degrees unless they meet the required criteria. “A government doctor cannot get paid study leave until they have completed three years of government service. As all doctors are aware of this rule.

So, it is illegal to fill out the form on the government quota,” said Dr Sushil Nath Pyakurel, acting secretary at the Ministry of Health and Population.

The cases at the apex court have raised questions if alternative candidates in other sector of DM and MCh have also doubted about remaining government doctors meeting the criteria.

“I’ve started a court procedure after learning about the case. As two cases have already been registered, I am waiting for a court ruling which will help other alternative candidates if the admission procedure is found unethical,” said an alternative candidate, requesting anonymity.

After the hearings on the Dr Mahaseth case, the court issued an interim order on October 29 postponing the admission process. However, in the Dr Yadav’s case, the court on November 4 cancelled the interim order.

As the court has not fixed the date for the next hearing, the classes are running

at NAMS.

Published: 23-11-2018 07:33

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