The sub-committee under the Education and Health committee of House of Representatives is likely take a few more days to finalise the National Medical Education Bill. The bill remains stuck in the panel for the last four months.
Sub-committee members from Nepal Communist Party (NCP) and main opposition Nepali Congress are divided on the bill’s contents with NC lawmakers fully supporting the nine-point agreement signed with Dr Govinda KC and the ruling party lawmakers opposing it.
Jaya Puri Gharti, chairperson of the Education and Health committee, told THT that the sub-committee led by Bhairav Bahadur Singh had almost finalised its work. She added, “Almost 95 per cent work has been done on the bill’s draft. Remaining issues will be finalised as soon as possible and the committee will present the bill in the full House.”
However, the bill is not going to include all points of the agreement with Dr KC.
The NCP lawmakers repeatedly said that the bill’s draft will be written on the basis of the constitution, agreement signed with Dr KC and other relevant reports.
NCP lawmakers and sub-committee member Khaga Raj Adhakari claimed that they had drafted a more progressive draft bill than what Dr KC wanted.
However, NCP lawmakers have said that there should be no bar for opening any medical collages outside Kathmandu valley. Earlier, NCP Chief Whip DevGurung had registered an amendment to the bill incorporating nine- point agreement, but his party members are not in favour of incorporating all the points in the bill.
NCP (NCP) lawmaker Yogesh Bhattarai told THT that the government should allow opening medical colleges outside Kathmandu valley.
“Dr KC doesn’t say that there should not be any medical college outside Kathmandu valley. Those who had already taken the letter of intent from respective institutions have already built proper infrastructure to build medical colleges and they should be allowed to run those institutions,” Bhattarai said.
The government had signed a deal with Dr KC agreeing to phase-out short term CTEVT course after the enactment of this bill and upgrade other long-term course.
Minister of Education, Science and Technology Giriraj Mani Pokharel said that the ministry had formed a committee to study CTEVT courses and if there were any issues, then the government would separately deal with those issues.
However, NC lawmaker and member of the sub-committee Gagan Thapa said the sub-committee should incorporate all points of the deal with Dr KC. “The government has signed an agreement with Dr KC and it should not backtrack on the agreement,” he said.
It looks like the sub-committee is not going to honour the nine-point agreement. But Dr KC is looking closely on the bill’s draft. “If the agreement is not honoured, then Dr KC will not accept it,” said Dr Abhishek Singh who is close to Dr KC.