Kathmandu, August 25
A probe committee formed by the Ministry of Health to investigate charges against Kathmandu National Medical College in Ghattekulo has been restricted from investigating the hospital.
The Ministry of Health had formed an eight-member probe committee to ascertain if KNMC meet all the criteria to run a hospital.
The medical college has been operating without approval from the ministry.
The panel comprises Dr Dipendra Raman Singh, Dr Gunaraj Lohani, Dr Bholaram Shrestha, Narayan Dhakal, Dr Runa Jha, Dr Swoyam Prakash Pandit, Kabita Aryal and Bawanath Khatiwada.
“We were not allowed to enter the hospital building. As the Ministry of Education has given permission to run the hospital and Tribhuvan University has granted affiliation to the medical college, we were stopped outside the building. We were told that we should come with a letter from the Ministry of Education. However, we don’t need such letters to investigate the hospital because it is our duty to find whether or not they are running properly. We went in our regular investigation format. But we were stopped,” informed Dr Bholaram Shrestha, chief of Curative Service Division at the Ministry of Health.
When the team reached the hospital at 11:00am the main gate was closed. “There weren’t any patients on the premises of the hospital. It was supposed to be the peak hour, but we observed there was no one in the hospital. The gate closed when we arrived. If the hospital had all the necessary infrastructure, they wouldn’t have stopped us. They didn’t want to show what they didn’t have,” Dr Shrestha further added.
After returning from the hospital, the probe committee submitted a report to the Minister of Health Giriraj Mani Pokharel and Dr Kiran Regmi, secretary at Ministry of Health as the committee was given seven days to study the current status of the hospital and submit a report with recommendations. “We wrote what we saw in the hospital in the report submitted. There should be at least 100 patients at the time inside the hospital which was not seen during our observation,” Dr Shrestha further
The medical college had applied for approval to run the hospital in 2011, 2015 and 2017 from the Ministry of Health. However, the applications were rejected as the hospital failed to submit necessary documents, including environmental impact assessment report, and recommendations of District Public Health Office.
Apart from having an earthquake resilient infrastructure, the hospital is supposed to have six-year insurance as per the guidelines. “As the hospital hasn’t been able to submit necessary papers and as the current situation of the hospital isn’t convincing there is no point in giving permission to run the hospital,” opined Dr Shrestha. However, there will be discussions on legal matters, on the policies from the ministerial level based on the report.
Tribhuvan University Executive Council granted affiliation to the medical college on July 27 to run MBBS programme. Ministry of Education had issued permission for KNMC to run a 300-bed hospital on June 22, 2012. An inspection team led by Dr Karbir Nath Yogi of the Institute of Medicine, TU, had recommended affiliation to the medical college in 2014. Sushil Koirala-led government had decided to halt the process of granting affiliation to any new medical college in the Capital until the passage of the Medical Education Bill, which is still under consideration in the Parliament.
Complaint registered at CIAA
KATHMANDU: Bibeksheel Sajha Party and students from the Institute of Medicine registered a complaint at the Commission for the Investigation of Abuse of Authority demanding action, court proceedings and punishment for the guilty who have given affiliation to Kathmandu National Medical College, Ghattekulo.
In the joint complaint registered by 40 members, they have requested the CIAA to investigate Tribhuvan University Vice-Chancellor Tirtharaj Khaniya, Registrar Dilli Ram Upreti, Rector Sudha Tripathi, the medical college owners, certain employees of the Ministry of Education and others involved in granting the affiliation.
A version of this article appears in print on August 26, 2017 of The Himalayan Times.