Private Medical colleges opt to shut down: Impasse between students, administration and the government

Reporters Club:  The current impasse between medical students, the administration of various private colleges and the government has deteriorated to the point of private colleges opting to shut down completely.

Medical education in Nepal has come under heavy scrutiny over the past few months. President of the Reporters Club Rishi Dhamala began the program at the Reporters Club yesterday talking about the Medical Students Struggle Campaign committee under Prakash Chand Thakuri and the students of various other medical colleges who were protesting the large scale fees and also underpaid resident Doctors that were a part of the campus.

In order to have a clear view regarding both sides in a special interaction program organized at the Reporters Club, Dr. Chandan Raman said that “we have to bring out the entire facts before the public before blaming the institutions of corruption and indifference toward the plight of students. We will have a committee to investigate the entire matter. There are various problems the medical education field faces, including limited seats, distribution of scholarships, and the fee structure”.

Speaking at the same program Mr. Gyanendra Karki stated that please look into the problems faced by the administration of those running medical education colleges and hospitals that are associated with it.

“How do we manage when there is no external help whatsoever, and various committees that have been deputed in the past which have released reports stating the administrative and financial problems faced by the institution has gone to deaf ears and complete lack of concern on the part of the government? We gave to frame a specific modality that will work with both the administration and the students so that both are less burdened he said”.

Om Prakash Aryal stated that “there were several disadvantages, and the prevalence of corruption, there were various anomalies within the system that need to be cleared. We have to improvise and move forward with a consensus and cannot depend on a ‘mafia raj’ where individuals do whatever they feel like. It has to be in accordance with law”.

Dr. Sujan Kadariya said that ” the struggle of the students is not specifically related to a person, it is a problem faced by all the doctors in general, and there needs to be someone responsible to address the concerns be it the administration or the government. Students need to have equal access to medical education, it should not be reserved for a few, there is massive loot in the name of fees and the struggle for opportunity and affordability will continue he said”.

Dr. Suresh Kanodia stated that “the government was not concerned even after a technical committee submitted all the required reports dealing with the medical education and the plight faced by the administration. There has been a lot of debate and objection in the past, but this has not been resolved yet. Similarly, there are various problems when it comes to seat distribution for national and international students. There was a Cabinet circular looking into the operational costs, we have been fair and transparently put all the information on our website”.

Dr. Sunil Sharma stated the dilapidated condition in which the medical institutions were functioning and he also moved on to provide the break-down of each of the costs associated with it.

Providing a brief background of how historically the medical institutions developed from garages and small rooms, he stressed that they were still in a learning phase. According to his break-down of the costs, it roughly costs 4.8 Million Nepalese rupees (NRs) for the entire MBBS course of 5 years.

That comes down to roughly NRs 60,000 per month, with only a capacity of 100 seats, and with the provision that only 1/3rd of the amount needs to be paid while the rest are in installments, private medical colleges find it impossible to operate. There are other costs associated with it, and after calculating salaries, hospital maintenance and equipment, there is nothing left”.

The private medical colleges have shut down, while students, on the other hand, are in protest while the government has not been able to initiate any favorable response to contain or resolve the current situation. It will be impending for the students seeking admission in the medical sector putting their future at jeopardy if the current impasse continues and is not resolved in a timely manner.