The much-debated Nepal medical education bill is finally endorsed!
On January 09, 2019, the Education and Health Committee of the House of Representatives passed the National Medical Education Bill.
The revised bill was endorsed with support from two-thirds majority of the ruling Nepal Communist Party (NCP).
However, the said bill contradicts the agreement signed between the Nepal Government and medical education reform activist Dr Govinda KC.
Lawmakers from the opposition Nepali Congress (NC) were dissatisfied with its contents and voted against it, asking that the agreement signed with Dr Govinda KC be respected.
Congress Lawmakers also presented a seven-point note of dissent during the committee meeting, arguing that the bill failed to fulfill the requirements of Dr KC’s agreement.
Justifying NCP’s amendments to the Medical Bill, one of its lawmakers Yogesh Bhattarai said that the bill has truly honored the deals decided with Dr KC.
“Some people may feel that the endorsement of the bill manipulated or violated the deals reached with Dr KC. In fact, this is win-win for both the government and Dr KC. I would say this is also the victory of Dr KC,” Bhattarai argued.
The government also received criticism from former Health Minister and NC lawmaker Gagan Thapa who accused it of betraying people’s trust by not honoring the deals with KC.
“The bill has undoubtedly breached the deals reached with Dr KC,” said Thapa adding that the bill was endorsed in favor of some government officials interest’s and influence of some businessmen.
The bill is in alignment with Dr KC demands when it states that a university cannot grant affiliation to more than five medical colleges.
However, it sharply deviates from the original agreement stating that institutions outside the Kathmandu Valley will be exempted.