Mushrooming medical colleges hit govt medical services


The Rising Nepal

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Mushrooming medical colleges in Kathmandu Valley would affect the government’s medical services, health officials said. These colleges hired doctors working in the government hospital as teachers and this hampered the services, Dr. Kedar Narsingh K.C, chairman of Nepal Medical Association said.

The government provided licenses to several medical colleges, which were lucrative businesses in Nepal, while the services at the government hospital suffered.

Each new education minister issued licenses without regard to the quality of medical colleges, they said.

Attractive salary offered by medical colleges lured doctors away from government hospitals, Dr. K.C said. According to Dr. K.C., a doctor who received Rs. 20,000 a month in a government hospital, for example, got Rs. 100,000 in a medical college. Ironically, six new medical colleges were in the offing even though the existing ones were running out of students.

Norvic Hopital, Manmohan Memorial Hospital and Model Hospital of Kathmandu are planning to transform themselves into medical colleges.  These new colleges were sure to draw in doctors from outside the valley where the government health institutions would face their shortage, Dr. K.C. said.

Chitwan Medical College, running in the second year, roped in Dr. Aananda Regmi, and Dr. Jageshwor Gautam, from Narayani Zonal Hospital. Eight others followed suit. Dr. Suresh Kumar Kanodia, president of Association of Private Medical and Dental Colleges of Nepal, said the government should carry out a need analysis before issuing licenses to establish medical colleges.

"The National Planning Commission never analyses the ratio of medical colleges and population," Dr. Kanodia said.

Nepal’s medical study is regarded to be better than many places abroad.

"But if licenses are issued without adequate homework, the products of the new colleges will not be different from those returning from study in China, Russia and elsewhere," Dr Govinda Sharma, surgeon and former VC of the Tribhuvan University, said.

Currently, 16 medical colleges and four dental colleges are in operation in the country.

Among them, 12 are private medical colleges. The private sector started opening medical colleges from 1993.

Several colleges ran classes without meeting basic conditions like human resources, buildings and labs.