The Health Profession Education Commission (HPEC) has finalised the draft of an Act to guide its overarching framework to regulate medical education without any major changes.
The committee led by HPEC Vice-chairman Dr Bhagwan Koirala is scheduled to submit the Act’s final draft to Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli this week.
“Some of our members are outside the country. Once they arrive we will hand over the document,” said Dr Koirala.
Apart from the moratorium, the draft Act authorises the HPEC to allow opening of new medical colleges outside Kathmandu Valley in areas deemed appropriate by the government. As per the Act, each aspiring medical colleges should seek consent from concerned universities, and hospitals of the medical colleges should be registered with the Ministry of Health. Only after this will they be eligible to apply for affiliation at the HPEC. Besides, the HPEC holds the right to scrap the licence of those institutes that do not meet its guidelines.The draft Act has also authorised the HPEC to set fees for medical colleges.
Another major clause of the draft Act is to conduct National Common Entrance Examination for students willing to pursue graduate and postgraduate medical education. Tribhuvan University, Kathmandu University, Patan Academy of Health Sciences and BP Koirala Institute of Health Sciences have been conducting separate entrance tests for MBBS and BDS (dentistry) programmes.
A provision in the draft Act states that only those foreigners who have either passed the common entrance examination or an examination certified by the HPEC in their respective countries will be eligible for admission to medical colleges in Nepal.
Under the HPEC there will be five directorates—Accreditation and Standard; Planning and Coordination; Innovation and Research; Examination; and Post Graduate Education Board. They will be headed by directors appointed by the commission’s vice-chair.
The commission has Dr Arjun Karki, former vice chancellor of Patan Academy of Health Sciences; Dr Jagdish Agrawal, medical educationist; Dr Shree Krishna Giri, former rector of National Academy of Medical Sciences; Dr Srijana Shrestha, dean of PAHS and Dr Suresh Kumar Kanodiya, a representative from private medical colleges, as its members.
Note: The article was originally published in The Kathmandu Post.