Kathmandu, March 1
A team of Nepal Medical Council has found that Gandaki Medical College Teaching Hospital and Research Centre, Pokhara, has been charging MBBS students extra fees.
A three-member probe committee was formed by NMC after medical students complained that they were charged extra fees by the college. The committee submitted its report to NMC on February 27. The college was found charging extra fees in the name of annual fee, library, transportation and field visit.
“We have suggested to the NMC to take action against the college as it has been found to be charging students extra fees,” said Kalu Singh Khatri, a member of the probe committee. MBBS students of the 2015-2018 batch, who have passed out from the college, have demanded that they be paid back all extra money collected by the college. The college remains shut for the last 29 days.
Nitish Man Maharjan, an MBBS student, could not take third-year final examination after the college demanded additional fee. The government has fixed Rs 3.85 million for MBBS course outside the valley. Maharjan had already paid Rs 4.3 million to the college. “I had already paid more than the fee set by the government, but the college is still demanding fee under various headings.”
Talking to THT, Maharjan shared, “We have to pay 50 per cent of the total fee in first instalment, 25 per cent in second instalment and the remaining 25 per cent in the third instalment, but we were made to pay the entire amount within three years. Although the college had demanded Rs 150,000 as annual fee, I will still need to pay a lot more in the remaining two years of my MBBS course.”
“All expenses of MBBS course is included in the fee fixed by the government and no college can take extra fees,” said Dean of Institute of Medicine Dr Jagdish Prasad Agrawal. If the college is proven guilty, the District Administration Office can take action against it.
Anit Sinha, of the 2016 batch is worried about his second year final examination. “It is my last chance for clearing the second year of MBBS course. We are given second chance, but if we are unable to pass even in the second attempt we have to join the college from the first year,” he said adding that the college had already started sending text messages, asking students to clear their fees or they would have to pay interest.
“We are now planning to register a fraud case against the college at DAO Kaski,” said Sinha, adding that the MBBS third-year students who were in Kathmandu were returning to Pokhara to hold talks with the college administration. “If the college failed to address our demands, we will file a case against them.”
Meanwhile, Joint secretary at the Ministry of Science and Technology Hari Lamsal shared the ministry had directed Tribhuvan University vice-chancellor to look into the issue.
A version of this article appears in print on March 02, 2019 of The Himalayan Times.