Kathmandu, March 10
A five-member sub-committee headed by Khagaraj Adhikari formed to study the sorry state of Dang-based Rapti Academy of Health Sciences submitted its report to the Education and Health Committee of the Federal Parliament today.
The subcommittee was formed on February 6 in response to a complaint that the strike launched by the RAHS doctors and employees, and arbitrary decisions of its vice-chancellor had led the institution towards uncertainty. It had also left patents in the lurch.
RAHS is a state-owned entity and the first medical college established in Province 5. The Parliament had unanimously endorsed the ‘Rapti Academy of Health Sciences Bill’ on the October 10, 2017.
Following the government’s decision to open one state-owned medical college in each province, the bill was passed with the aim of converting Rapti Sub-zonal Hospital into RAHS in Province 5. Though it was a landmark step towards expanding medical access to the public in the region, the recurring strike sponsored by responsible doctors and employees had posed a threat to the sustainability of the institution.
The sub-committee formed comprised Anjana Bishankhe, Ekbal Miya, Gajendra Bahadur Mahat and Namita Kumari Chaudhary as members. The subcommittee has forwarded a 13-point recommendation to be given to the government through the committee to resolve problems in the institution.
The subcommittee stressed that the government should formulate an umbrella health sciences academy bill immediately to regulate and bring about uniformity among all such institutions in terms of their operation, polices and rules and functions; appropriate necessary budget for RAHS and provide support to equip it with resources and equipment; and withdraw its wilful decision to increase service fees.
The sub-committee report also recommended RAHS to work in coordination with and consent of the provincial government, district coordination committee, local government, district administration, district-based political parties, civil society, chamber of commerce and industry, RAHS Concern Committee and employees; and allow all permanent, contract and temporary employees work as per the previous provisions and provide them with career development opportunities on the basis of their performance in a transparent manner.
The subcommittee has urged the committee to ensure that the RAHS provide to the public all medical services provided by the previous Rapti Sub-zonal Hospital and resume the services smoothly; transport the property and human resources of the hospital to the RAHS; resume maternity service; maintain cleanliness of the health institution; operate nutrition programme in a previous manner; create an efficient management team; and initiate action against its vice-chancellor; among others.
A version of this article appears in print on March 11, 2019 of The Himalayan Times.