2-yr rural stint enough for scholarship docs: SC

Kathmandu, November 6

The Supreme Court has issued an interim order to Patan Academy of Health Sciences telling it to not subject its MBBS graduates, who have studied under the government scholarship, to work for more than two years in government health facilities in rural areas.

The interim order was passed by a single bench of Justice Bam Kumar Shrestha in response to a writ petition filed by Dr Ujjwal Poudel.

The petitioner pointed out that the education ministry had decided that MBBS graduates, who had studied under government scholarship scheme, should serve in government health facilities only for two years and the same should also apply to MBBS students who had graduated from Patan Academy of Health Sciences.

PAHS had a provision that students who did MBBS with full government scholarship had to serve four years in rural areas while those who had availed partial scholarship should serve in rural areas for two years.

All medical graduates, who studied under government scholarship programmes, will get permanent medical licence from the Nepal Medical Council only after serving at government health facilities in rural areas for two years.

As part of the registration procedure at the NMC, doctors need to submit a clearance certificate issued by the Department of Health Services. The department issues the clearance certificate to a doctor after confirming his/her two-year mandatory service period at a government health facility.

Medical Education Commission has decided to provide scholarship to 75 per cent students enrolled in MBBS and other bachelor’s level health studies from this academic year. Earlier, the scholarship was provided to 10 per cent of the students.

According to the National Medical Education Act, 75 per cent seats in state-funded medical colleges should be reserved for scholarship holders; private medical colleges run with domestic resources need to reserve 10 per cent seats for scholarship holders and medical colleges run with foreign investment must reserve 20 per cent seats for scholarship holders.