Private medical colleges have been admitting students into graduate programmes on ad hoc basis even before they are allocated seats by the Nepal Medical Council (NMC).
Sources at the NMC said National Medical College, Birgunj and Universal Medical College, Bhairahawa, among other private medical institutes, have been taking in students without waiting for a council’s decision about the number of seats.
“We have allocated the seats for colleges. But we will wait for 72 hours before making it public,” said NMC Spokesperson Dr Krishna Adhikari. The council is expected to allocate seats to the colleges on Thursday.
Any medical college defying NMC directives should be responsible for any consequences on part of the students, the council states. “NMC will not recognise registration of those students who enroll into colleges/universities before the finalization of number of seats and merit list.”
In terms of the MD/MS programme, the Kathmandu University has a relatively systematic admission process. The KU first takes its entrance and doctors selected for graduate studies can choose a college. The KU then admits the students into various medical colleges under its affiliation charging a free of Rs 2.25 million. The private medical colleges under the KU have no right to admit students on their own.
But the colleges operating under the Tribhuvan University (TU) face no such restrictions, giving way to anomalies. There are suggestions that the National Medical College have been charging students over Rs 10.5 million for master’s in radiology programme.
The NMC says they are receiving similar complaints, with the colleges charging exorbitant fees anywhere between Rs 5 million and R8 million for various specialised courses, including internal medicine, gynaecology, orthopaedics.
One student, who says she has paid Rs3 million to a medical college, now fears if he would get the money reimbursed after it dawned upon him that the admission process is not clear.
The National and the Universal are said to have “booked’ seats for the MD/MS programmes even before the Institute of Medicine (IoM) entrance exams. Students who have passed MD/MS entrance examination held TU IOM are eligible for admission into MD/MS programmes at the TU-affiliated medical colleges on Merit basis. With around 2,500 MBBS graduates vying for around 500 seats available for the MD/MS programmes each year, the competition among the colleges is fierce.
Officials of the National and the Universal Medical College were not immediately available for comment.
Sources: The article was originally published in The Kathmandu Post on 7th April, 2016.