Probe panel formed to study status of KNMC

Kathmandu, August 22

The Ministry of Health has formed an eight-member probe committee to ascertain if Kathmandu National Medical College meets all criteria for obtaining affiliation from Tribhuvan University.

The panel comprises Dr Dipendra Raman Singh, Dr Gunaraj Lohani, Dr Bholaram Shrestha, director general at Department of Drug Administration Narayan Dhakal, Dr Runa Jha, Dr Swoyam Prakash Pandit, Kabita Aryal and Bawanath Khatiwada.

According to the MoH, the committee has been given seven days to study the present status of KNMC’s Kalikasthan-based teaching hospital and submit its report with recommendations. The MoHA decided to form the study panel after the TU’s move to grant approval to the medical college sparked strong protests.

Nepal Medical Association, different associations of doctors, civil society and Dr Govinda KC are protesting the move and demanding that the government revoke its decision to grant affiliation to the ‘unqualified’ medical college.

An inspection team led by Dr Karbir Nath Yogi of the Institute of Medicine, TU, had recommended affiliation to the medical college in 2014 by submitting a ‘fake’ report which allegedly listed infrastructures, number of doctors and staffers, beds, patient flow and other services that never existed in the health facility.

Executive Council of TU had granted affiliation to the medical college on July 27. Organisations and doctors, who are opposing the decision, have claimed that the medical college does not meet the prescribed criteria. The medical college is housed in an apartment building without a single patient receiving treatment.

Earlier, Sushil Koirala-led government had decided to halt the process of granting affiliation to any new medical college until the passage of the Medical Education Bill, which is still under consideration in the Parliament.

The Educational Council of Institute of Medicine had also denied affiliation to the medical college, citing the lack of proper infrastructure.

Meanwhile, activists of Bibeksheel Sajha Party, doctors and IoM students gheraoed TU vice-chancellor Tirtha Raj Khaniya’s office in Kirtipur, demanding his resignation for granting affiliation to the medical college ‘through the back door’. They also demanded that the process of granting affiliation to new medical colleges be initiated only

after the passage of the Medical Education Bill by incorporating recommendations of the Mathema-led panel.