KATHMANDU, March 29: The government plans to table the Medical Education Bill in parliament on Thursday at a time when Dr Govinda KC, professor at the of Institute of Medicine (IOM), has warned that he will stage another fast-unto-death if the bill is not endorsed.
When postponing his 15th hunger strike scheduled to begin from March 18, Dr KC had urged the government to approve the Medical Education Ordinance from parliament by April 13. The bill, which provisions 75 percent seats at public medical colleges under free scholarships and no new affiliations for private medical colleges in Kathmandu Valley for 10 years, has to be endorsed by parliament within 60 days of the start of the parliamentary session. Parliament's session began on March 4.
"Partly to address Dr KC's demands, Education Minister Giriraj Mani Pokharel is all set to table the bill in parliament tomorrow," Sunil Khadka, press coordinator for Pokharel, told Republica. "So far as possible, the Bill will be registered at the parliament secretariat today. If not it will be registered and tabled tomorrow," Khadka added.
Dr KC, who began staging repeated hunger strikes from July 2012 to press for reform in medical education, had announced his 15th hunger strike to start from March 18. It was postponed after the resignation of Chief Justice Gopal Prasad Parajuli.
Dr KC in the past also demanded the resignation of former chief of the Commission for Investigation of Abuse of Authority (CIAA) Lok Man Singh Karki and Vice Chancellor of Tribhuvan University (TU) Prof Dr Tirtha Raj Khaniya, accusing them of protecting the medical mafia and depriving ordinary people of medical education opportunities and health care.
Dr KC has also urged the government to publish the report submitted by the Medical Education Probe Commission (MEPC) led by Gauri Bahadur Karki and take necessary action against 43 officials of TU and Kathmandu University and some experts, as per the recommendations of the report. The panel headed by Karki, a former chairman of the Special Court, included Dr Upendra Devkota and Surya Prasad Gautam, joint-secretary of the Ministry of Education, as members.
The MEPC, which was formed in April last year to investigate issues related to medical education, submitted its report to then prime minister Sher Bahadur Deuba on Feb 4, recommending action against the 43 officials, including TU VC Khaniya, TU Rector Sudha Tripathi and TU Registrar Dilli Ram Uprety.