As the government faces difficulties in hiring specialist doctors, a committee led by Dr Chop Lal Bhusal has recommended leniency in their appointment and waiver of the compulsory one-year experience for doing a post-graduate course in these subjects.
The government is finding it hard to attract specialist doctors including general physicians. Anaesthesiologists, radiologists and pathologists to work in state-run hospitals.
Despite announcing vacancies several times, very few doctors have applied for these positions and even those hired quit after they are asked to serve outside Kathmandu.
A report submitted by the seven-member Recommendation Committee on Medical Education, chaired by Dr Bhusal, former chair-man of the Nepal Health Research Council states that the mandatory one-year experience for MBBS doctors before they can be enrolled in a PC course should be waived for specified subjects for a given period of time.
Each MBBS doctor should compulsorily work for at least a year, even if they have studied by paying full fees, before they are allowed to enroll for MD/MS courses in any medical college inside the country "Additional stipend should be provided to encourage enrolment in these subjects... and the additional cost incurred should be borne by the Health Ministry" the report states.
Calls for waiving one-year experience need for MBBS grads to enroll in PG course
"The doctors who study on such provisions should be stationed in districts as required by the government Additional positions for these doctors should be sanctioned and their hiring should be directly in the ninth level."
Since the ministry is working to expand the PC course to regional and sub-regional hospitals beginning this academic year. Dr Bhusal said the courses such as anaesthesiology and pathology will be prioritised.
To focus more on these courses, the recommendation committee has identified five clusters where the MD/MS programmers can be run in government hospitals outside the Kathmandu Valley.
Cluster 1: Mechi Zonal Hospital. Jhapa: Koshi Zonal Hospital,Morang and Sagarmatha Zonal Hospital, Saptari in the eastern region are clubbed under Cluster 1.
Cluster 2: Includes Bharatpur Hospital. Chitwan: Hetauda Hospital, Makwanpur and Lumbini Zonal Hospital, Rupandehi.
Cluster 3: Has Bheri Zonal Hospital. Banke: Mid-western Regional Hospital, Surkhet and Bardiya District Hospital.
Cluster 4: Comprises Pokhara Academy of Health Sciences and Dhaulagiri Zonal Hospital. Beglung while
Cluster 5: Will have Mahakali Zonal Hospital. Kanchanpur and Seti Zonal Hospital. Dhangadi and Sub-Regional Hospital, Dadeldhura.
Health Minister Gagan Thapa said the ministry is working to launch the courses in these hospitals from the upcoming academic session. The three-year specialist study will be funded by the government and the graduates should compulsorily serve in government health facilities for a specified number of years. There are around 350 specialist doctors in government hospitals.
Source: The Kathmandu Post