Kathmandu, July 11
Medical sector reformist and senior orthopaedic surgeon Dr Govinda KC has demanded that the government immediately halt the process of appointing vice-chairman of Medical Education Commission, claiming that the appointment procedure was erroneous. Dr KC threatened to launch a stern protest if his demand was not addressed.
The National Medical Education Act, which was passed by the House of Representatives on January 25 despite criticism from the opposition Nepali Congress party and Dr KC, has a provision to form the Medical Education Commission. Establishment of the Medical Education Commission was one of the key demands of Dr KC, for which he has staged 16 fast-unto-death strikes since July 2012.
The commission is envisioned as all powerful body to grant or revoke affiliation of medical colleges across the country and to regulate the entire medical education sector.
As per the provision in the act, the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology had, around 17 days ago, published a public notice calling interested candidates to apply for the post of vice-chairperson for the commission. The deadline that ended on July 9, had received six applications for the position.
Expressing serious concern about the selection procedure of candidates, Dr KC at a press meet today said, “With the procedure it has adopted to select the vice-chair, the government is on a path to strangulate the commission before its birth.”
Rather than recruiting people with expertise in the field, the government was working to appoint people with political influence, according to Dr KC. He also said the age limit of 45 to 61, for a person to compete for the post of vice-chairperson was introduced with the sole intention of barring deserving candidates.
Dr KC expressed concern that achievements made so far in medial education sector would be in vain if the government were to follow the corrupt system in appointing the vice-chairman of the commission. The act stipulates that the candidate should not have been proven guilty of a criminal offence.
A close aide of Dr KC said, “Dr Lila Kantha Upadhyay who was found guilty of graft by the Gauri Bahadur Kari commission has also applied for the post.”
Former chair of the Special Court, Gauri Bahadur Karki had led a probe committee formed on April 2017 to investigate illegally granted affiliations to medical and dental colleges, exam fee and faculty quota of various medical colleges affiliated with Tribhuvan University and Kathmandu University.
A version of this article appears in print on July 12, 2019 of The Himalayan Times.