With the controversial directive from the Prime Minister Sushil Koirala to grant affiliation to medical colleges , all eyes are now set on the faculty board of the Institute of Medicine (IoM).
The board, which is IoM’s highest authority for academic activities, is likely to convene an emergency meeting either on Friday or Monday to table the affiliation proposal before its members. The decision of the board will decide the fate of the medical colleges awaiting affiliation to run MBBS programme .
Two-thirds of the 32-member board should endorse the decision to grant affiliation to new medical colleges . The members include IoM office bearers, doctors from some faculties, members of Ministry of Education, and Ministry of Health and Population.
On February 13, the prime minister, in his capacity as the chancellor of the Tribhuvan University (TU) , had directed the Ministry of Education to grant affiliation to those medical colleges that have secured the approval from the Nepal Medical Council and have met the legal and infrastructure requirements.
“We need at least 10 days to call the board meeting. Since TU has asked us to decide on the matter quickly, we will hold an emergency meeting of the standing committee members,” said Dr Rakesh Shriwastav, dean of IoM. The National Medical College, Manmohan Memorial Institute of Health Sciences and People’s Dental College are waiting for the IoM’s affiliation to run MBBS and Bachelor’s programme in dentistry.
Manmohan Memorial Institute of Health Sciences has a significant investment from leaders of CPN-UML. The party’s lawmaker Rajendra Pandey is its chairman. Similarly, National Medical College is an extension of Birgunj-based National Medical College promoted by UCPN (Maoist) loyalist Basaruddhin Ansari and People’s Dental College is run by Sunil Sharma, who also close to UCPN (Maoist).
Sources say there the chances of these medical colleges getting affiliation are slim as a majority of the officials have been saying that IoM cannot handle more affiliation s. There are also those who say that granting affiliation to new medical colleges means provoking protest from Dr Govinda KC, senior orthopedic surgeon who had staged fast-unto-death numerous times in the past against the medical affiliation process.
“Any decision on affiliation has to be taken only after the expert committee has submitted its report,” said a senior IoM official.
The government has formed a nine-member committee under education expert Kedar Bhakta Mathema to draft the medical education policy to guide the medical education in the country.
Source: This article was published on The Kathmandu Post on 5th March, 2015.