KATHMANDU, August 28: As part of seeking feedback from experts and Dr Govinda KC on the National Medical Education Bill, the Education and Health Committee of parliament on Tuesday started seeking feedback from the members of the Task Force led by Prof Kedar Bhakta Mathema, former vice chancellor of Tribhuvan University.
The House committee called the members of the Task Force for discussions on the bill after lawmakers' comments on the bill. The Task Force led by Prof Mathema included members—Prof Dr Suresh Raj Sharma, former vice chancellor of Kathmandu University; Dr Madan Upadhyaya and Dr Ramesh Kant Adhikari, former deans of Institute of Medicine (IOM); Dr Arjun Karki, former vice chancellor of Patan Academy of Health Sciences; Dr Bhagwan Koirala, former director of Tribhuvan University Teaching Hospital, Dr Hari Prasad Lamsal, joint-secretary of the Ministry of Education and Dr Guna Raj Lohani, joint-secretary of the Ministry of Health and Population.
The bill was prepared as per the recommendations included in the report of the Task Force, which submitted it to the government in 2015. During the tenure of former premier Sher Bahadur Deuba, the Medical Education Ordinance was brought in 2017 as part of the agreement signed with Dr KC, senior orthopedic surgeon and professor at the IOM. Dr KC staged 15 fasts-unto-death since 2012, demanding reforms in the health and medical education sector.
The members of the Task Force insisted incorporating the agreements signed with Dr KC in the National Medical Education Act. Prof Mathema said that their recommendations were in favor of the ordinary people and quality medical education in the country.
But the ordinance became defunct as it couldn't be endorsed by parliament. Now, the present government has tabled the bill in the parliament as per the latest agreement signed with Dr KC on July 26.
Dr KC's demands include 75 percent scholarships in government medical colleges, restriction on issuing affiliation to medical colleges in the Kathmandu Valley for 10 years, a university issuing affiliation to only five medical colleges, three-year operation of hospital to get affiliation for medical colleges and opening at least a government medical college in each of the seven provinces.
Dr KC began his 15th hunger strike from June 30 in Jumla, presenting a seven-point demand including bringing the Medical Education Act without much changes, immediate starting of MBBS classes at Karnali Academy of Health Sciences, immediate publicizing of the report of medical probe commission led by Gauri Bahadur Karki and taking action against culprits, revoking ban on staging protest programs at Maitighar and scraping Tribhuvan University decision that snatched away IOM rights and making the IOM autonomous.