The Parliament today passed the National Medical Education Ordinance 2075.
Minister for Education, Science and Technology Giriraj Mani Pokharel presented the ordinance in the Parliament for approval. Although the ordinance was passed with majority, lawmaker Prem Suwal from Nepal Workers and Peasants Party voted against it, saying it was illogical not to grant affiliation to new medical colleges for the next 10 years.
As per the constitution, an ordinance should be endorsed by both the houses of Parliament. If the joint meeting of the Parliament passes the ordinance, then it takes the form of a law. “The Parliament will now have to bring a replacement bill within sixty days,” said Advocate Om Prakash Aryal.
The ordinance bars opening of new medical colleges in Kathmandu valley for the next 10 years. It also states that a hospital has to run for at least three years to be eligible for affiliation to run a medical college.
As per the ordinance, a university will not be allowed to grant affiliation to more than five medical colleges. Likewise, affiliation cannot be granted to more than one medical college in the same district and 75 per cent of the seats in government medical colleges should be allocated for scholarships. There will be a single entrance examination throughout the country for all the students seeking to pursue medicine.
A Medical Education Committee, which will have the power to cancel affiliation granted to medical colleges, will also be formed. Senior orthopaedic surgeon Dr Govinda KC had been staging fast-unto-death from time to time demanding endorsement of the ordinance.
President Bidhya Devi Bhandari had authenticated the ordinance as per Article 114 of the constitution on November 10, 2017. But as the Parliament couldn’t bring the replacement bill, the ordinance was again certified on April 26, 2018 by the president to prevent it from becoming null and void.