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Near a deal with KC  

Friday, August 11th, 2017
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GC

On the 19th day of Govinda KC’s 11th hunger strike, the crusading physician’s interlocutors and government representatives have finally forged a deal.

After a series of intense negotiations overnight, the two sides have agreed to three points:

a) the Kedar Bhakta Mathema commission will be mentioned in the preamble of the National Medical Education Bill

b) those hospitals that have received Letter of Intent (LoI) will be allowed to run medical colleges, but only if they meet all the criteria to be set by the new Act,

c) Hospitals will be allowed to apply for medical colleges only after operating for three years.

The two sides, facilitated by NC leader and former Health Minister Gagan Thapa and Maoist leader Narayan Kaji Shrestha, had inched closer to this three-point deal late Thursday night.

In a meeting with both sides at Baluwatar on Friday morning, Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba gave his nod to the points.  However, everyone is waiting for the final word rom KC who is at Teaching Hospital in a feeble state.

KC’s negotiators are learnt to have assured PM Deuba that he would agree to the compromise points. The bill that was passed by the Women, Children, Elderly Citizen and Social Welfare Committee of Parliament on
Friday will now be revised.

Earlier, the bill had been drafted in a way that, if passed, would have allowed at least five new medical colleges inside Kathmandu Valley alone. The bill stated that ‘those medical colleges that have already received LoI will be allowed if they meet criteria’.

As per the agreement, this clause will remain more or less same. But it will be rephrased to state that only those colleges that have received LoI and meet all the criteria set by the new Act will be allowed.

Government representatives and KC’s interlocutors say this ‘rewording’ makes a huge difference, and captures the spirit of KC’s campaign for reforms in medical education.

UML MPs, too, are unlikely to oppose this agreement because Manmohan Memorial Hospital, where their MPs have invested, will most probably be allowed to run a new medical college. This hospital has already received a
LoI, and can meet criteria like 300-bed and operating for three years. However, other hospitals that have received LoI will not be allowed to run medical colleges.

The question is whether KC will agree and whether his negotiators can convince him. What KC really wants is a 10-year moratorium on new medical colleges no matter if they have received LoI or if they have met all the criteria. But even KC’s own representatives say this may not be possible.

Om Astha Rai

Read also:

Sinking fast

 

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One Response to “Near a deal with KC  ”

  1. anonymous on Says:

    There is so much faith in medical practicioners one would wish they all were saints like this, unfortunately power struggles and money destroy the noble profession.
    God Bless dr KC may he recover fast and sign anything tonight i am sure will find many trustworthy lawyers to control the process.

    Enough is enough. Stop this thing.

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