NAMS planning to launch MBBS classes despite legal restrictions

Published On: May 24, 2024 03:52 PM NPT By: Pabitra Sunar

KATHMANDU, May 24: The National Academy of Medical Sciences (NAMS) is preparing to conduct MBBS classes in contravention of the Medical Education Act 2075 BS. Five institutes, including NAMS, have recently prepared a separate syllabus for the MBBS course.

NAMS, Rapti Academy of Health Sciences, Madhesh Institute of Health Sciences, Pokhara Academy of Health Sciences, Madan Bhandari Academy of Health Sciences, and Ram Raja Prasad Singh Academy of Health Sciences have held joint discussions and are preparing to launch MBBS classes.

Each of these institutions plans to admit 100 students, totaling 600 MBBS students across the six institutions. There is a provision in the National Medical Education Act 2075 BS that prohibits conducting graduate-level classes in medical, nursing, and dental subjects within the valley for 10 years after the Act comes into effect.

Section 12 (1) of the Act states that no letter of intent to establish and operate an educational institution for conducting graduate programs in medical, dental, and nursing subjects within the Kathmandu Valley will be issued for 10 years from the commencement of this Act. This provision will apply until 2085 BS.

This clause appears to ban the opening of new educational institutions and the conduction of undergraduate programs in these subjects within the valley. However, the Act does not impose restrictions on colleges outside the valley, allowing those with a capacity of 300 students to conduct MBBS programs.

Former Dean of the Institute of Medicine, Professor Dr Jagdish Agrawal, stated that the graduate-level medical program proposed by NAMS is against the law. "I was a member of the draft committee at that time. NAMS's program seems to be against the law," he said.

Dr Agarwal noted that an act was established following Dr Govinda KC's movement for health and medical education reform to control the unregulated aspects of medical education within the Kathmandu Valley. The movement's objective was to regulate medical education in the valley.

Dean of NAMS, Dr Ashesh Dhungana, stated that since additional subjects have been added to the curriculum at NAMS every year, preparations are underway to start MBBS classes this year. However, he mentioned that the permission process is yet to be started. Dhungana said that all the institutions will first prepare the curriculum together and then proceed with the process of seeking permission from the Medical Education Commission.

A former official of the institution told Republica that NAMS is not yet capable of conducting MBBS classes in terms of physical infrastructure and finances. "NAMS does not have the ability to conduct MBBS classes when it is unable to bear the financial burden of the PG and MD classes that have been conducted before," he said. However, he suggested that there might be an intention to conduct classes by gathering additional resources and infrastructure.

Vice Chairman of the Medical Education Commission, Dr Anjani Kumar Jha, stated that no establishment has come forward for the permission process so far. He said that a decision will be made based on the opinion of the legal advisor if an application is submitted. "If we receive an application, we will take a decision only based on the opinion of the legal advisor," he told Republica on Thursday.

Public health expert Dr Jhalak Gautam stated that the Medical Education Commission does not have a legal basis to grant permission to NAMS to conduct classes, as the law clearly prohibits it till 2085 BS. He suggested that the aim might be to make NAMS financially self-sufficient by running additional classes.

Leave A Comment