What should be fee ceiling for MBBS courses

2014-04-05

The Rising Nepal

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A committee formed to make recommendations on fee restructuring of medical colleges has prepared its final report.

The committee was formed a year ago through a cabinet decision following complaints about unequal and unregulated fees being charged by medical colleges.

The report recommends that medical colleges should not be allowed to charge more than Rs. 2.5 million for MBBS course. The study found that there was no consistency in fee structure. Students were paying from Rs. 3,000,000 to 4,000,000 in different colleges for the same course.

Taking into account the fees and all other costs to be covered in five years, the fees should not exceed Rs. 2,500,000, the report says.

In almost all colleges fees have to be paid in lump sum. However, the report recommended the government to introduce a rule that allows parents to pay one-third of the fees in the beginning and the rest in equal yearly installments.

The committee also recommended that medical colleges have to meet the standard mentioned by Nepal Medical Council. Majority of the existing medial colleges have failed to meet the standard fixed by the council.

By rule, there should be at least 100 students in a medical college but colleges have been exaggerating the number by counting consultants and registrars as well.

The report recommends that classes should run on the basis of curriculum, examinations should be made more reliable and medical council should observe the BBS exams.

Although rules require colleges to consult Tribhuvan University before fixing fees, no colleges were found to have done so. The report has sought stricter enforcement of rules. The study panel was headed by Dr. Tirtha Khania, the then member of the National Planning Commission.

The committee studied fee structure, quality of education and affiliation provision of the medical college by assigning works to different technical sub-committees.

The report will come into implementation after cabinet approval, the Ministry of Education said. Due to absence of the Education Minister, it is unlikely that the report will come into effect soon, Joint Secretary of Ministry of Education Mahashram Sharma said.

The report will be submitted to the Council of Ministers within this week, he said. The Ministry will not publish the details of the report until it gets cabinet approval.

The fee dispute arose while KIST Medical College demanded four million rupees for MBBS course last year. Parents were complaining over the requirement to pay full amount of fees in the beginning.

Instead of considering the academic quality of students, the colleges had given priority to those who could pay money in the way they demanded. The government had felt the need of detailed study of the medical colleges in order to regulate the reported irregularities.

The report has fixed fees for MBBS study to medical colleges,  essential infrastructure, and quality assurance.