Minister says deal with Dr KC to be incorporated

Kathmandu, November 25

Minister of Education, Science and Technology Giriraj Mani Pokharel today assured the nine-point agreement signed between the government and senior orthopaedic surgeon Dr Govinda KC would be incorporated in the National Medical Education Bill.

He said so during clause-wise discussion on the bill in the parliamentary Education and Health Sub-committee. The sub-committee led by lawmaker Bhairav Bahadur Singh started clause-wise discussion on the bill today.

“There should be no doubt that the nine-point deal sealed with Dr KC will be incorporated in the bill,” Minister Pokharel said. The government had signed the nine-point agreement with Dr KC on July 26 to end his 15th hunger strike.

The agreement states that a 10-year moratorium would be put on opening of new medical colleges in Kathmandu valley, no university will be allowed to provide affiliation to more than five medical colleges, and new medical colleges will not be allowed to start operation unless they operate a hospital for three years.

Nepal Communist Party (NCP) Chief Whip Dev Prasad Gurung, who had registered amendments to the bill with his fellow lawmakers in line with the deal signed with Dr KC, said the bill should be drafted on the basis of agreement reached with Dr KC.

“It is the government’s duty to respect the deal sealed with Dr KC,” said lawmaker Krishna Bhakta Pokharel, who is one of the lawmakers to register amendments to the bill.

Nepali Congress lawmakers Dilendra Prasad Badu, Ram Krishna Bista and Rajendra KC expressed similar views. “The purpose of reviewing the bill is to incorporate Dr KC’s demands,” Badu said.

Dr KC has been calling for reforms in the medical education sector for six years and has staged hunger strike 15 times so far. “One man has staged hunger strike time and again. We shouldn’t take his demands lightly,” Bista said.

Khaga Raj Adhikari, NCP lawmaker and a member of the sub-committee, however, asked if it was necessary to mention ‘high level committee proposal-2072’ in the preamble of the bill. “Can’t we simply say ‘in the spirit of committee report’?” he asked.

Dr KC had demanded that the name of Mathema-led committee be mentioned in the preamble of the National Medical Education Bill, as the panel had

conducted in-depth study on the medical education sector and laid recommendations accordingly.

However, Adhikari said four committees had been formed to suggest ways to introduce reforms in the medical education sector. “It won’t be fair if names of other committees are not mentioned,” he said.