Kathmandu, September 18
The government today appointed Dr Jagadish Prasad Agrawal, Dean of the Institute of Medicine, as the vice-chairperson of the Health Professional Education Commission.
The commission was recently constituted as part of the 11-point agreement reached between the government and Dr Govinda KC. The 18-member commission is chaired by education minister. A press statement issued by the Office of the Prime Minister and Council of Ministers said the commission has been mandated to formulate Medical Education Policy within three months.
The government has also decided not to renew the Letter of Intent of medical, dental and nursing colleges in the Kathmandu Valley and gradually reduce the number of MBBS seats to 135 in 2015-16, 115 in 2016-17 and 100 in 2017-18. The total fee for MBBS course has been fixed at Rs 3.5 million, but the Medical Education Commission may revise the fee structure every two years in line with price hike.
Students of Janaki Medical College will be managed by the concerned agency immediately, the OPMCM said. The government has directed the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Home Affairs to initiate action against the concerned directors of the medical college for not running academic activities for a long time.
Similarly, the ratio of government and private medical college will be maintained at 1:3.
In response to the decisions made by the government, Dr KC claimed that the Cabinet had altered some important issues mentioned in the 11-point agreement and the Mathema report.
“This is against the agreement. We have made substantial compromises. Not a single change, however minor, is acceptable to us, including the composition of HPEC and LOI.
All agreements should be endorsed and ratified in entirety. We are giving the government till 4 pm tomorrow to correct its mistake and to implement the agreement in its entirety.
Otherwise, I will resume hunger strike from 4 pm tomorrow. We will try our best to ensure that health services and academic activities are not obstructed,” Dr KC said in a press statement. He said HPEC should be headed by the prime minister, not education minister, as per the agreement.
A version of this article appears in print on September 19, 2015 of The Himalayan Times.