Himalayan News Service
Kathmandu, July 15: The government failed to table the National Medical Education Bill in the House of Representatives today due to opposition from Nepali Congress lawmakers. NC lawmakers said they would stage protest if the bill was presented without any alteration.
Although the bill was scheduled to be tabled in the Parliament by Minister of Education, Science and Technology Giriraj Mani Pokharel, Speaker Krishna Bahadur Mahara postponed the house meeting for tomorrow.
The Ministry of Education, Science and Technology had registered the bill without changing the content in the previous Medical Education Ordinance Replacement Bill. The new bill does not address the demands of Dr Govinda KC, who has been on hunger strike since June 30 in Jumla, as well as past agreements reached with him.
The bill is also against the recommendations made by the Kedar Bhakta Mathema-led commission. Among other things, major recommendations by the Mathema commission include not allowing establishment of new medical colleges in Kathmandu valley for 10 years; scholarships to 75 per cent of medical students; full-fledged hospital operation for three years before granting medical college status; and not allowing a university to grant affiliation to more than five medical colleges.
NC lawmakers Gagan Kumar Thapa and Sanjay Kumar Gautam have already registered a notice of protest in the parliament on the bill.
The previous government led by the NC, in which the then CPN-Maoist Centre was a coalition partner, presented the ordinance in line with the recommendation of the Mathema commission and as per the agreement reached with Dr KC.
“The government has not tabled the Medical Education Bill yet. We will do what we need to if the government tables the bill in the Parliament,” said NC Whip Puspa Bhusal.