Tirbhuvan University Rector Guna Nidhi Neupane today said
that the demands put forth by Dr Govinda KC, who is on a hunger strike, were
difficult to meet and that TU would not backtrack on its decision to grant
affiliation to new medical colleges that meet the criteria ‘just because someone is protesting’.
Speaking at an interaction in the capital, Neupane said TU had taken the decision of granting affiliation to new medical colleges after holding talks with Prime Minister Sushil Koirala, who is the Chancellor of TU. “There is no reason to withdraw this decision.
A meeting of the faculty board of the Institute of Medicine a few days ago had halted the affiliation process until further notice. “We had issued notice about granting affiliation to medical colleges that have infrastructure and meet the criteria. So we cannot backtrack on the decision just because someone is protesting,” said Neupane. “The IoM decision to halt affiliation has drawn TU’s serious attention,” he said, adding that the TU Executive Council would soon hold a meeting to discuss and decide. “We will review the decision made by IoM.”“If the (IoM) decision is found to be against the law, it would be revoked,” he added.
TU had about a year and a half ago announced that it would grant affiliation to new medical colleges and asked the Dean’s Office to conduct feasibility study. “The TU Executive Council will take decisions after IoM gives us the report of feasibility study,” he said, adding that Dean’s Office was yet to reply to TU Executive Council. “We had earlier asked the Dean’s Office about the required number of professors and physical infrastructure to produce 200 doctors, but IoM is yet to respond,” he said.
Banshidhar Mishra, a Constituent Assembly member and a medical doctor, described Dr KC’s protest against the decisions of the government and the Supreme Court as ‘a child’s arrogance’. According to Mishra, Dr KC studied under scholarship quota from 1989 to 1993 but never worked in remote districts.“He has been working at Bir Hospital and TUTH since he joined medical service,” he said. “A person who studies under the scholarship quota should work in remote districts as per the government rule, but had not done so.”He added that ‘some people were supporting Dr KC without knowing the facts’. He also stated that 18 medical colleges in the country were being operated following due rules and regulations laid down by the government.
“Halting affiliation to four medical colleges, which had received the Letter of Intent from the Ministry of Education two years ago, in the name of new rules and regulation is not fair,” Mishra said. Kedar Narsingha KC, former president, Nepal Medical Association, however, expressed solidarity with Dr KC and his demands. He appealed to the government address Dr KC’s concerns and save his life. “Dr KC is staging hunger strike with good intentions,” he said. He also urged the government to wait until a committee led by Kedar Bhakta Mathema submits its report on the country’s health education.