KATHMANDU, The government registered the Medical Education Ordinance Replacement Bill at the Parliament Secretariat after the Cabinet endorsed the bill on Friday.
The replacement bill, however, has altered major provisions of the ordinance so as to allow establishment of new medical colleges in Kathmandu Valley.
The ordinance had barred the opening of new medical colleges in Kathmandu Valley for 10 years and required a medical college to run a hospital for at least three years to be eligible for affiliation. The ordinance also barred a university from granting affiliation to more than five medical colleges.
Minister for Education, Science and Technology Giriraj Mani Pokhrel, who registered the bill, said all the proposed provisions would be discussed among the lawmakers. The bill clears the way for colleges including Manmohan Medical College in Kathmandu and B and C Medical College in Jhapa to be affiliated. Besides, the Kathmandu-based National Medical College may also be recognised if the changes are endorsed.
Spokesperson for the Ministry of Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs Ramesh Dhakal said the provisions were changed as per the government’s policies.
Opposition lawmaker Gagan Thapa said provisions in the bill were altered to grant university affiliation to more medical colleges including Medicity, B and C, and Manmohan and National Medical colleges. “We will protest [against it] in Parliament,” Thapa said.
Minister Pokhrel said the major insertion was formation of a powerful commission to take crucial decisions. “The provisions will be endorsed only after thorough discussion among lawmakers,” Minister Pokhrel said.
Asked about the stance of Professor Dr Govinda KC who has staged numerous hunger strikes to fight for the provisions in the ordinance, Pokhrel said the incumbent government always had differences with Dr KC.
President Bidya Devi Bhandari had authenticated the ordinance on November 10, 2017. As Parliament failed to replace it, the President certified the ordinance again on April 26, 2018. According to the constitution, an ordinance becomes invalid if the bill to replace it is not endorsed by the House within 60 days of its issuance or commencement of the House session.
On Wednesday Nepali Congress MP and former health minister Thapa registered a motion in Parliament to draw Minister Pokhrel’s attention to the looming deadline for endorsing the replacement bill. House of Representatives Secretary Gopal Nath Yogi said the bill was to be discussed on Friday to ensure its authentication by July 4 but that did not happen as the document had landed late. “We will begin deliberation on Sunday,” Yogi said. The ordinance becomes void if the President fails to authenticate it by July 4.
~The Kathmandu Post