Review Nepal News

Don’t turn deaf ear on KC’s demands
  Kathmandu, Nepal      July 23 2018


The deteriorating health condition as well as the swelling public support to the indefinite hunger strike of senior orthopedic surgeon Dr Govinda KC calling for reforms in the country’s medical education sector does not seem to have shaken the incumbent Nepal Communist Party (NCP) Chair KP Sharma Oli led government. Though the health condition of Dr. KC is deteriorating further, the government is not showing concerns to resolve the issue through the consultations but moving forward in the process to endorse the controversial National Medical Education Bill (NMEB) forcefully. It is being heard that the government is going to introduce the same Bill, which was withdrawn after widespread protests including the main opposition Nepali Congress, without any changes. The issue raised by Dr. KC to reform in the medical education is backed from different sectors because some provisions of the Bill not only disregards the recommendations of the Kedar Bhakta Mathema led Commission, which formed to undertake an analysis of the medical education sector, but intends to commercialize the medical education in Nepal . The public outcry is not listened from the government because the demand to reform in the medical education contradicts with the private interests of some leaders of the government allies who have made their investments in the medical colleges like Manmohan Medical College and National Medical College in Kathmandu and the B&C Medical College in Jhapa. 

The government seems backtracked from its own agendas of establishing socialist economy due to the private interests of the party leaders. As the government and its head NCP has taken the issue of granting to the controversial medical colleges as of its sole agenda, it is likely that the controversial Bill would be endorsed forcefully  from the parliament, thanks to the two third majority strength of the incumbent government in the parliament. The attitude shown by the government to passage the Bill forcefully prohibiting the widespread protest is nothing than the shameful matter in a democratic society. The government should have owned up all the issues raised by Dr. KC instead of indulging on the private interests. The recommendations of the Mathema commission seem equitable because unbridled growths of for-profit medical colleges have damaged the image of medical education as a whole in Nepal. There is no reason for omitting the major provisions of the recommendations of the Mathema commission if the government was serious toward the national interests. There is no reason to be anxious to follow the recommendations of the Mathema Commission because it has said nothing bad but to spread the medical colleges to other parts of the country ensuring quality in the medical education. 

The strike of Dr. KC is being supported from different sectors even though some NCP leaders have turned deaf ear due to the undue influence of those party leaders and cadres who have invested in the private medical colleges. It is likely that the widespread protest against of the government’s apathy would not remain long as some influential leaders of the NCP have begun to raise voices against of the government. We have also a conviction that nothing harm will be occurred in the country if the recommendation of the Mathema Commission to make affordable to the meritorious students was insured in the country. All the rightful demands raised by Dr. KC like private medical colleges must have to run a 300-bed medical hospital and a 100-bed hospital each for dental and nursing course at least for three years to obtain a letter of intent, a university cannot issue affiliation to more than five medical colleges, and 75 per cent of the total students in public medical institutions should get scholarship have to be fulfilled immediately not only settle the recent imbroglio but also to initiate process to reform in the medical education. As the incumbent government used to parrot the slogan of prosperous Nepal, Happy Nepali, it should not indulge on the petty partisan interests swelling with the proud of two third majorities in the parliament.