The Kathmandu Post
KATHMANDU : A swell of public support in the past few days to the indefinite hunger strike of senior orthopaedic surgeon Dr Govinda KC calling for reforms in the country’s medical education sector does not seem to have shaken the government as it is still adamant on tabling the National Medical Education Bill in Parliament without changes.
Dr KC has been on a hunger strike for the last two weeks demanding a medical education law in line with the recommendations of a task force led by Kedar Bhakta Mathema, former vice-chancellor at Tribhuvan University. But the government has presented the bill omitting a number of recommendations of the Mathema panel. Presentation of the bill is on the agenda as the House of Representatives meets on Monday.
Talking to journalists on the federal parliament premise on Sunday, Minister for Education, Science and Technology Giriraj Mani Pokharel said the government was committed to presenting the bill in the House as the demands of the agitating doctor were illogical. He reiterated that the bill incorporates all the major recommendations of the Mathema panel.
The minister argued that the proposed high-level commission will have every authority to decide university affiliation to colleges. Arguing that every document has room for revision, he said even the Mathema report could be revised.
The panel recommended a 10-year moratorium on new medical schools in the Valley, requiring them to have a hospital operational for at least three years.
Both the provisions are missing from the registered bill. Omitting the moratorium, according to critics, is a ploy to grant the Manmohan Academy of Health Sciences in Kathmandu and the B&C Medical College in Birtamod, among others, university affiliation.