Collusiveness and betrayal on the part of the government: Medical Education struggle to intensify

REPORTERS CLUB EVENT: “The agreement made between the government and private medical college operators is invalid and unacceptable,” said members of the Medical Education Struggle Campaign members speaking at the Reporters Club last week.

The committee warned that this was against the spirit of the aggrieved students and it was betrayal at their part. Speaking at a special press interaction program organized at the Reporters Club on Sunday, the committee members stated that the two-point agreement that was made between the Government of Nepal (GoN) and private medical operators were against the interest of the students.

Taking out a press release stated “the agreement between the GoN and the private medical college operators which happened on the 26th of November is not for the students but the benefit of the private college operators.

The committee that consisted of the Vice-Chancellor of Tribhuvan University, Kathmandu University Assistant Dean, and owners of private medical colleges worked in the interest of the college owners rather than for students, and it has paved a way for further conflict which the committee should have their serious attention to.

The medical education struggle campaign has now vowed to further their protests till their demands are met, or shut down affiliated colleges, and protest with more strength. The demands range from providing faculty, to reducing fees, and returning excess fees charged to the students by private medical college operators.

If their demands are not fulfilled they plan to shut down all the institutions in the medical field for an indefinite period.

They have a seven-point demand which ranges from problems faced by the students to excess fees that are being charged as well as facilitating medical education as a right for every student interested to pursue it.

Speaking at the program committee member of the struggling campaign and student of Chitwan Medical College Manyata Thapa stated that “three months of protests and the government is not serious toward their demands. In broad daylight students were beaten up at the National Medical College, and the perpetrators have not been punished. How many days will the students have to resist beating?”

Thapa spoke on supporting the government of nationalizing medical education, she also questioned the audience “those who charge and have collected 500 million Nepalese Rupees (NRs) from the students are mafias and does the law not apply to them? Only the poor and vulnerable have laws applied to them, we need an answer from the government” she said.

Speaking at the program another student and member of the campaign committee Sukrat Poudel stated that “this was a financial crime being committed by the owners of private medical colleges”.

He also said, “the government instead of helping the students have surrendered to the mafias”. He questioned the ability of the government to bring the culprits to book for their financial crime.

Pramit Mishra speaking at the program stated that “their demands and grievances were genuine and that it should be addressed by the government”.

Mishra also said that the situation in the college which is an atmosphere of seriousness and peace was disrupted by the administration, and they even resorted to catching students and beating them up”.

National Medical College students Ramit Lamichhane and Sushan Raj spoke about the disaster in the making of the agreement of the government and the private medical operators.

Before this program coordinator of the medical education struggle campaign Dr. Milan Gaire and said that the movement was meant not only for doctors, but everyone in the field of education which includes nursing, pharmacy, laboratories, and other related staff. He was dissatisfied with private medical colleges charging excess fees and asked for an immediate refund for the students.

The general secretary of the struggle campaign committee Anil Sinha had said that “the excess fees that were charged to the students should be refunded with immediate effect. It is also necessary to disburse salaries according to the government given pay scale to medical officers”.