Some remarkably impressive steps in the field of Medicine

2015-01-05

Himalayan News Service

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Nepal has made tremendous strides in medical education in recent years. Every year it produces hundreds of doctors and dozens of specialists in various branches of medicine. But the products are also supposed to meet the standards of quality set, and it is the responsibility of the Nepal Medical Council (NMC) to oversee this aspect. The NMC has the overall duty of seeing that the medical colleges have enough infrastructure, physical facilities, well-equipped laboratories and human resources, etc. to provide quality medical education. When the medical colleges produce doctors, they should be capable of undertaking the designated work with the required degree of competence. But unfortunately several medical colleges have been operating MBBS classes without meeting the NMC criteria, all due to poor monitoring and lack of appropriate action against them. But the Institute of Medicine (IoM), Tribhuvan University, has done something in the right direction when it has increased MBBS quotas for some and reduced them for others not meeting the criteria fully. IoM has allocated 760 MBBS seats for the six medical colleges and teaching hospitals affiliated to Tribhuvan University for the new academic session. But in the case of Janaki Medical College of Janakpur, it has refused to allow the college to run MBBS classes for two consecutive years. 

Malpractices in medical education have been going on for years because of poor oversight job of the monitors which saw many colleges conducting MBBS classes paying no heed to the NMC strictures. It is not only the case with TU-affiliated medical colleges but those affiliated to other universities as well. Now, with the result of the 10+2 Science stream already out, the medical and engineering colleges are bracing to take in students. As for the medical colleges, the admission process is all set to go ahead but they have to follow the rules set by the NMC. If any medical colleges fail to meet the criteria, their MBBS seats must be curtailed or cancelled totally. 

Health is not only a basic need of people but also a serious and sensitive area where any mistakes by medical practitioners can cost lives. As such, the institutions entrusted with the task of regulating the medical colleges should take their job more seriously. So stress should be laid on seeing that all medical colleges fully meet the criteria for running medical courses. When the medical students spend millions of rupees to get an opportunity to study the prized course, those running the medical colleges must be made to meet the strictest of criteria, otherwise they must be suitably punished. The medical authorities are particularly to blame for the fact that several medical colleges have run their business for years without meeting the prescribed criteria. It is hoped that IoM has not shown any leniency in making its present decision which has gone in the right direction. In the days to come, the regulators should see that the criteria do not fall short of international standards, and their enforcement is even tighter. 

Note: This is an editorial published in The Himalayan times on Sept 11 entitled "Get tougher"

Note: This is an editorial published in The Himalayan times on September 11 2014 entitled "Get tougher"