IoM draws criticism for halting affiliation process

Some senior medical practitioners and proprietors of medical colleges have taken exception to Institute of Medicine’s yesterday’s decision to halt affiliation process.

They have accused the Institute of Medicine, Tribhuvan University, of hatching a plot to make their investment in medical colleges a waste by halting affiliation to new medical colleges.

A meeting of IoM faculty board yesterday decided not to grant affiliation to new medical colleges until further notice, saying IoM ‘at present does not have the capacity to grant affiliation’.

They said that they had invested millions of rupees to set up medical colleges after receiving Letter of Intent from the Ministry of Education.

Speaking at a programme organised in the capital today, Dr Bhola Rijal, who is also the proprietor of Om Hospital and Research Centre, Chabahil, said the country is in need of more medical colleges. He said establishing more medical colleges in the country does not deteriorate the quality of medical education.

Stating that Nepal was able to produce human resources needed for the country by itself, Dr Rijal said, “There is a need to make medical education easily accessible to all.”

He added that the colleges which have already met the criteria with billions of investment should be granted affiliation.

“Such situation in the country is going to put the private sector and medical education in jeopardy,” he added.

He stated that 80-90 per cent medical students pass the exam of Nepal Medical Council. He also suggested that affiliation to medical colleges will help stop students from going abroad for medical studies.

Dr Sunil Sharma, General Secretary, Private Medical College Association, said that there was ‘vested interest of a few people for not granting affiliation to the colleges which have met the criteria’.

He stated that yesterday’s decision was against the Supreme Court directives to grant affiliation to private medical colleges.

“Many banks and investors are going to suffer if the affiliation is halted,” he said, adding, “IoM is trying to discourage investment from the private sector.”

He further claimed that the medical colleges have already completed the 35-point condition in their Letter of Intent.

Other proprietors and investors also echoed the same and demanded that the government come up with a final decision soon.

Dr Jageshwor Gautam, President, NMC, said that 1,000 students got permission for medical studies abroad this year.

“If there are more medical colleges in the country, the country can stop students from going abroad and use the money within the country,” he said.

He added that only 10-20 per cent students returning to country from abroad studies pass NMC exam while students who have studied medicine in Nepal pass the exam.He stressed on the need to establish more number of medical colleges in the country.

Source: THT