HoR passes National Medical Education Bill amid commotion

KATHMANDU: The government on Friday bulldozed the controversial National Medical Education Bill through House of Representatives (HoR) amid furore and obstructions by the opposition.

The meeting scheduled for 1:00PM today started late following discussions between ruling and opposition leaders. Although both Nepal Communist Party (NCP) and Nepali Congress leaders had not budged from their stances on two hospitals named after the Koiralas and the bill, Speaker Krishna Bahadur Mahara decided to proceed with the deliberations and passed the bill.

As NC lawmakers were protesting, Speaker Mahara made multiple requests to agitating lawmakers to calm down but went on to call the line minister to propose the bill, anyhow.

After the bill was passed within minutes, Speaker Mahara was quick to end the meeting and announce next house session for January 31, 2019.

Meanwhile, senior orthopaedic surgeon Govinda KC continues his 16th fast-unto-death against the provisions in the bill demanding reforms in the medical education sector.

NC will take it to the streets, obstruct House, opposition leaders say

Following the meeting, NC President Sher Bahadur Deuba said that the party will now take it to the streets and continue to obstruct house as the government arbitrarily passed the bill without deliberations.

"Even when I was the Prime Minister we did not pass any bill or made agreements without holding talks with the  opposition. But today the government breached an ethical conduct and forcefully passed the bill," Deuba said.

Meanwhile, former Health Minister Gagan Thapa also expressed discontent over today's proceedings and said that the opposition will now hit the streets.

"With this, the government has duped us all," Thapa said, "What about the protesting surgeon? Does the government want him to die? Is this what they want?"

"A win-win for all," NCP leader Bhattarai

According to NCP Leader Yogesh Bhatttarai, with the passing of the bill, medical education has now become accessible to all and aspiring doctors would not be impelled to travel to foreign nations to undertake it.

"The bill has been passed and it is a win-win for all," Bhattarai said, "I would like to congratulate Dr KC and also urge him to end his hunger strike."