National Medical Education Bill to incorporate govt-Dr KC nine-point deal

Kathmandu, July 29

The House of Representatives today paved the way for incorporating the nine-point agreement reached between the government and Dr Govinda KC into the National Medical Education Bill.

The amendment proposal, which will have to be registered in the Parliament within 72 hours, will be discussed in the next House meeting scheduled for Wednesday. Clause-wise discussions will be held on the bill and the amendment proposal. The Ministry of Education, Science and Technology had yesterday forwarded the agreement to the Cabinet for approval.

The House today held theoretical discussion on the bill presented by Minister of Education, Science and Technology Giriraj Mani Pokharel. Following the discussion, Speaker Krishna Bahadur Mahara approved the registration of amendment proposal. A total of 11 lawmakers, including those from the ruling and opposition parties, participated in the theoretical discussion, and Minister Pokharel responded to lawmakers’ queries and comments.

Minister Pokharel hoped the bill would be endorsed unopposed after the agreements reached with Dr KC was incorporated. He said the bill’s provision of an all-powerful commission under the prime minister would help address anomalies in the sector.

Federal Socialist Forum-Nepal lawmaker Sarita Giri, however, took exception to the provision of commission. “The bill is against the federal system and the commission is against the constitutional provision. I am not in favour of amending the bill. Health education should be joint responsibility of federal, provincial and local governments,” she said.

Nepal Workers and Peasants party lawmaker Prem Suwal said education and health sectors should be under the government, not the private sector. He also demanded that certificate-level technical education not be phased out.

NC lawmaker Dilendra Prasad Badu said the commission should be under the law. NC lawmaker Bharat Kumar Shah said the agreement between government and Dr KC should be incorporated in the bill. “Education and healthcare should be the government’s responsibility,” he said.

Former health minister and Nepal Communist Party (NCP) lawmaker Khagaraj Adhikari said the bill could not incorporate nursing, pharmacy, ayurveda, naturopathy and lab education. “The bill should incorporate all issued related to medical education. The National Education Bill will help address anomalies in the sector,” he said.

NCP (NCP) lawmaker Sujita Shakya said before medical colleges were nationalised, the issue should be looked at practically.