The Kathmandu Post
Feb 8, 2019- As the MBBS licensing results of Nepali students who have studied in China and Bangladesh have been disappointing, the Nepal Medical Council has suggested the Ministry of Education implement a set of standards on the colleges that students are being enrolled in, so as to avert such a situation.
“China and Bangladesh are two of the most popular destinations for Nepali students to study MBBS, but the number of students returning and disappointing in the licence exam is dissatisfying,” Dr Dharma Kanta Baskota, Chairman of Nepal Medical Council (NMC) told the Post.
As per the data collected by the NMC, 929 Nepali students, among 1,411 in China, and 434 Nepali students, among 1065 in Bangladesh, failed in the last six MBBS licence exams from March 26, 2016, to March 31, 2018. Twenty students were absent and seven students’ results were held up in the six examinations.
The Council had sent a written letter to the Education Ministry, more than a month and a half ago, suggesting a criteria be set—such as allowing students to study MBBS in colleges that teach only in Mandarin in China and students be allowed to study MBBS in government medical colleges in Bangladesh.
“Students study MBBS in medical colleges that teach in the English language. And then, when it comes to practice, they cannot interact with Chinese patients properly because they are not accustomed to the language. The less they interact with patients, the less their knowledge and experience,” said Baskota.
Similarly, the Council had suggested the Ministry to make it mandatory for Nepali medical students to study only in government medical colleges in Bangladesh, citing that most of the private medical colleges in Bangladesh do not provide quality education and are black-listed by their Medical Council, University Grants Commission and Directorate General of Health Services.
“The colleges are being blacklisted following their bare infrastructure. When students study in such colleges, the quality in their education is compromised due to which we have suggested the step to the ministry,” said Baskota. As per the officials at the Education Ministry, they have not been able to hold any concrete discussion over the suggestion provided by the Council.
“The suggestion has been briefed to the Minister, but we have not been able to hold proper discussion over it due to time constraints. The Ministry can come to a decision only after the meeting,” Hari Lamsal, Joint-secretary at the Education Ministry told the Post.
According to the Embassy of Nepal in Bangladesh, there are more than 20 government medical colleges and more than 100 private medical colleges in Bangladesh.
“Not all the private medical colleges of Bangladesh provide low-quality medical education. If the students are sent only to the good private medical colleges, then Nepal can receive quality doctors from Bangladesh,” Dhan Bahadur Oli, Acting Nepalese Ambassador to Bangladesh told the Post in a phone interview. The Embassy also suggested that the Nepal Medical Council should consult with them before providing No Objection Certificate (NOC) to the students for any of the medical colleges in Bangladesh.
“If the NOC is provided only for medical colleges that have been providing quality education, students would not have to face difficulties in future,” said Oli, adding, officials of NMC or Education Ministry should also come to Bangladesh and study the situation of medical education themselves and discuss with concerned authorities of Bangladesh for any positive solutions.
According to the Embassy, agents and brokers have been a major problem as they assure many students to give them admission in low cost and admit them to medical colleges lacking quality infrastructure since students are provided NOC for newly established medical colleges as well.