Agreement reaches between government and Dr Govinda KC on reform of medical education
Bishnu Nepal and Kumar Chaulagain
KATHMANDU, July 27: The government and the agitating arthopaedic surgeon Dr Govinda KC have finally reached the agreement on the reform in medical education sector.
With the agreement, Dr KC broke his 15th fast-unto-death he was waging for 27 days. Deputy leader of the parliamentary party of NCP, Subash Nembang, and Prof Kedarbhakta Mathema jointly offered juice to Dr KC to break the strike at TU Teaching Hospital Thursday night.
The two sides concluded the nine-point agreement, as per which, the government would not permit the establishment of new medical colleges in the Kathmandu Valley for the coming ten years.
However, in case of the medical colleges which have prepared necessary infrastructures after taking the letter of intent in the Kathmandu Valley, the government can take the ownership of such medical colleges if they want to hand over to the government. For this, the government will provide proper compensation. The government will also provide incentives to such colleges if they want to get shifted to other locations prioritized by the Commission.
Irrespective of the provisions mentioned in the existing law, the university and technical education and vocational training council will not be allowed to provide affiliation to any institutes which have not their constituent program.
Whatsoever written in any provision, a university can not provide affiliation to more than five medical colleges now onwards.
Moreover, no technical program on health under the certificate level would be run hereafter. Even the existing program will be phased out in five years from the date of the enforcement of the Act.
The entrance exams on the program of health education in certificate level under the council will be held with the coordination of the Commission.
For the study and recommendation of adjustment in related Act, rule and policies to set the standard on appointment of officials in the university and academy, a taskforce under the coordination of Ministry of Education, Science and Technology would be formed by comprising area experts and legal experts. The taskforce will be formed within two weeks, which will submit its report in a month.
The process to take action against the officials found guilty by the judicial investigation commission on medical education would be taken within two months.
The Ministry will direct the Tribhuvan University to immediately resume the obstructed teaching-learning at Janaki Medical College.
Regarding the immediate admission in the bachelor program including MBBS at Karnali Academy of Health Science (KAHS), a taskforce will be formed by comprising representatives from federal government, Karnali province government, KAHS, Surkhet Zonal Hospital and two experts.
In order to run effectively the academies of health sciences, an integrated bill on academy of health sciences would be brought within two months.
The public academy will allocate at least 75 percent seats for free scholarship in the bachelor’s program. Such amount of seats will be gradually increased with the consultation of the Commission.
In case of the Nepali students, after the introduction of the Act, all government medical institutes will provide free medical education in the master’s level program.
A certain policy and standard would be set in all program and levels of medical education in the federal and provincial levels.
With the agreements, current medical education bill will be amended on various 22 points.
After breaking Dr KC’s strike, leader Nembang informed that points mentioned in the agreement would be addressed through the federal parliamentary process.
“With this agreement, Dr KC will not be forced at all to wage hunger strike now onwards,” he said, adding that Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli and other senior leaders of the CPN had taken special initiatives to forge agreement.
PM Oli had been taking special initiatives for three days.
On behalf of the talks team of agitating Dr KC, Dr Suman Acharya thanked the government officials, political leaders and others involved to make the dialogue successful with the conclusion of agreement. He expressed gratitude to the Jumla people and civil society leaders including Kedar Bhakta Mathema and Sushila Karki, residential doctors at TU Teaching Hospital, medical students and the media fraternity.
Following the end of the strike, Dr KC has been admitted to the ICU ward of the TU Teaching Hospital for recovery of his health.