Education Minister Gopal Man Shrestha has written to the Nepal Medical Council to fix the number of seats for Kathmandu National Medical College for the upcoming session.
The Education Ministry, citing the Supreme Court order of October 17 directing the Tribhuvan University (TU) to not immediately revoke the affiliation given to Kathmandu National Medical College, on November 1 wrote to the NMC to recognize the affiliation given to the medical college.
The NMC recognizes affiliation given by relevant universities and every year fixes seats for each medical college in the country before the new academic session starts in December. This letter, in essence, has instructed the NMC to fix the number of students Kathmandu National can admit in the new academic session.
Dr Govinda KC, whose struggle for medical education reforms forced the TU to revoke the medical college’s affiliation, has slammed the minister’s letter. “How much money did you take to write the letter?” Dr KC asked minister Shrestha over the phone, Dr Abhishek Pratap Singh confirmed with Setopati.
Minister Shrestha did not take Setopati’s calls despite repeated attempts.
The executive council of TU on September 6 had revoked the affiliation given to Kathmandu National Medical College after a three-member monitoring team formed by the council found that the medical college did not meet any standard.
The TU revoked the affiliation after the monitoring team submitted its report to the council stating that the medical college did not meet any standard and the hospital was operated illegally.
The TU executive council on July 27 had provided affiliation to the medical college. The act of providing affiliation to a desolate hospital, that had not met any standard and did not even have permission from the Health Ministry, had invited widespread criticism. The executive council had put affiliation on hold on September 2 following the widespread criticism, and had formed a three-member monitoring team.
The monitoring team earlier on September 6 had gone to Ghattekulo for monitoring and inspection of teaching hospital of the medical college where it did not find any doctor, administration staffers and patients.
The team led by Sanat Devkota following investigations, and field inspection had concluded that National does not qualify to become a medical college.
The team members did not even find any administration staffer in the desolate building to hand over the letter to, and had left the premises handing over the letter to security guards.
The team had visited every department and ward of the hospital during the two-hour inspection. All the hospital beds were vacant and there were not even doctors or administrative staffers. The team also checked the record file of patients and found that no patient had been admitted there since April, 2015. The hospital pharmacy also did not have any medicine.