The government has allocated Rs 270 million to run free postgraduate courses in government-run medical institutions from this year.
Finance Minister Ram Sharan Mahat announced on Tuesday’s budget speech that the fund will be utilised to conduct the courses, including MD and MS , in the state-run medical schools. Around 350 students are expected to benefit from the programme every year. Foreign students will not be eligible.
The students graduating under the programme will be required to work at the government-designated health facilities for five years.
The Ministry of Health and Population (MoHP) had earlier sought Rs 330 million from the Finance Ministry to run the programme. The budget details prepared by the MoHP were based on last year’s total intake of 325 students for the postgraduate courses by three government institutions— National Academy of Medical Sciences (Nams) , Institute of Medicine (IoM) and BP Koirala Institute of Health Sciences (BPKIHS) .
Nams had admitted 129 students for MD/MS courses while 26 students were enrolled in DM/MCH courses last year. IoM had admitted 120 MD/MS students while 27 students were enrolled for DM/MCH courses. The BPKIHS had also enrolled around 40 students for postgraduate courses.
Experts have welcomed the government decision to waive the fees for postgraduate medical courses.
“Since there a five-year bond associated to the free degree, the government will have specialists in their hospitals and health institutions around the year,” said Dr JP Agrawal, medical educationist at the IoM.
“The government should now ensure that district hospitals and other health institutes are well-equipped, so that the specialised doctors could practice their profession effectively.”
Conducting free postgraduate courses in government-run medical institutions was also one of the recommendations made by the Kedar Bhakta Mathema-led committee that drafted the Health Profession Education Policy.
It was also one of the demands of Dr Govinda KC, senior orthopaedic surgeon at the Tribhuvan University Teaching Hosptial, who had staged fast-unto-death protest on numerous occasions in the past demanding reforms in medical education.
Source: The Kathmandu Post