The Ministry of Education (MoE) has agreed to amend the Health Profession Education (HPE) Bill as per the demand of Dr Govinda KC, who has been staging his 13th fast-unto-death for the last seven days demanding that there should be 10-year moratorium on establishing new medical colleges in Kathmandu Valley.
Though the original HPE Bill had the provision of banning new medical colleges in the Valley, a parliamentary committee had inserted a clause, which would have allowed some institutions to run MBBS course, directly benefiting a handful of people, especially members of political parties like the CPN-UML and the CPN (Maoist Centre).
A ban on new medical colleges in the Valley is one of the several demands put forth by Dr KC.
The HPE Bill was earlier set to be tabled in Parliament on Wednesday but it was withdrawn from the agenda after the MoE agreed to amend it in line with Dr KC’s demand.
“The bill will be tabled in Parliament on Thursday after incorporating the demand of Dr KC,” State Minister for Education Sheshnath Adhikari told the Post.
But whether it will get through Parliament is still in doubt, as the UML is likely to oppose it, for some of its lawmakers have stood against Dr KC’s demand of imposing a ban on establishing medical colleges in the Valley.
According to a source at the MoE, the government will table the HPE bill even if the UML stands against it. In that case, it will be put to a vote, the source said.
The MoE is also introducing a provision of providing 75 percent fee waiver to students of government-owned medical colleges. The bill also envisages formation of high-powered Health Profession Education Commission which will be authorised to carry out a study before granting affiliations to medical colleges.
If the bill is passed with the provision of imposing a 10-year ban on new medical colleges in the Valley, it will affect the Manmohan Memorial Institute of Health Sciences (MMIHS), which is backed by some UML members, hence the party is dead set against the moratorium provision.
The other institutions that will be affected if the bill is passed in line with Dr KC’s demands are National Medical College, Aswini Medical College and B&C Medical College among others.
“If the bill is endorsed in line with Dr KC’s demands, it will set the stage for major reforms in the medical education sector in the country,” said State Minister Adhikari.
Govt forms talks team
KATHMANDU: A week after Dr Govinda KC launched his 13th hunger strike, the government on Wednesday formed a committee to hold talks with his representatives on his various demands. The talks committee is led by Nagendra Prasad Upadhyay, secretary at the Prime Ministers’ Office and has Dilli Rimal, officiating secretary at the Ministry of Education and Dr Kiran Regmi, secretary at the Ministry of Health as members. However, no talks were held on Wednesday, as earlier the government was planning to table the Health Profession Education (HPE) Bill in Parliament, according to Rimal. But the bill was withdrawn from the House agenda later after the Ministry of Education agreed to amend it in line with Dr KC’s demand of imposing a 10-year moratorium on establishing new medical colleges in Kathmandu Valley. A ban on new medical colleges in the Valley is one of Dr KC’s several demands. “We will begin talks from Thursday,” said Rimal.