NMA opposed to forming high-level medical commission

Kathmandu, August 30

Nepal Medical Association today opposed forming a high-level commission headed by the prime minister to regulate the country’s medical education sector.

The National Medical Education Bill, which is under discussion at the parliamentary health and education committee, vests ‘absolute powers’ in the commission’s vice-chair, according to NMA.

During a clause-wise discussion on the bill with representatives of Nepal Medical Association, NMA president  Dr Mukti Ram Shrestha said they would not accept any clauses in the bill that violated doctors’ right to practise medicine.

The team advised the committee not to form a powerful high level commission as proposed in the bill and supported the nine-point agreement the government signed with senior orthopaedic surgeon Dr Govinda KC.

Lawmaker Khaga Raj Adhikari said the NMA supported Dr KC’s demands and the nine-point agreement but said formation of a high level commission was not appropriate.

As per the bill, the high-level commission will be led by the prime minister and co-chaired by health education ministers. The vice-president  of the commission will be appointed by the government.

“The vice-president of the commission will be more powerful and can misuse his/her powers,” said Shrestha, adding that such a powerful commission could bring the entire medical education sector under government’s control.

Lawmaker Yogesh Bhattarai asked representatives of Nepal Medical Association if they had any differences with Dr Govinda KC’s demands. He added that it was Dr KC’s demand to form a powerful medical commission.

In response, Shrestha said all medical colleges should be under the Ministry of Health and Population. “There should be one-door system in medical education,” he said, adding that there should be same curriculum for medical education throughout the country.

Shrestha said hospitals and health institutes should be treated differently.

Earlier, the parliamentary committee had held discussion with members of the high-level commission led by Professor Kedar Bhakta Mathema and Dr KC to discuss the contents of the bill.