Govt delays tabling of medical education bill

Kathmandu, July 12

The government has yet to table in Parliament the National Medical Education Bill, which was registered at the Parliament Secretariat on July 6.

Minister of Education, Science and Technology Giriraj Mani Pokharel was supposed to table the bill in House of Representatives, the lower house, today, but Speaker Krishna Bahadur Mahara removed the agenda from the HoR business schedule.

According to the Parliament Secretariat, Minister Pokharel is out of valley and so the bill will be tabled in the Parliament on July 15. The main opposition Nepali Congress is not satisfied with the contents of the bill.

The ministry had registered the bill without changing the content in the previous Medical Education Ordinance Replacement Bill. The new bill does not address the demands of Dr Govinda KC, who has been on hunger strike since June 30 in Jumla, as well as past agreements reached with him.

The bill is against the recommendations made by the Kedar Bhakta Mathema-led commission. The government has also removed a provision in the previous bill that does not allow establishment of new medical colleges in Kathmandu valley for 10 years.

“We don’t know exactly why the bill was not tabled in the HoR today,” said NC Chief Whip Bal Krishna Khand. He further said that Speaker Mahara postponed the HoR meeting for three days to give parties time to resolve the issue through talks.

However, a source at the Parliament Secretariat said the bill could create problem in and outside the Parliament.  “So, the HoR meeting has been postponed for three days so that the government and Dr KC  resolve differences through talks,” source said.

NC Chief Whip Khand said they would protest in the Parliament if the government tabled the same ordinance bill.