In the past two decades, Nepal witnessed a horse race in establishing medical colleges. It is always good to have medical education opportunities for the people who want to pursue it within their own country. In the name of autonomy, our universities have been providing affiliation to medical colleges more to please their political masters rather than for developing quality medical education in Nepal. It is now open secret that the affiliations are based on the personal monetary benefits rather than the intents behind the philosophy of medical education.
Out of the one and half dozen medical colleges in Nepal, there are very few scholarships available for the meritorious but poor students. The cost for the MBBS program has gone up to nearly five million. Most of the medical colleges are run on a private basis. The dearth of the basic science teachers in them is alarming. The universities, that affiliate medical colleges, do not have their monitoring capacity.
At times, when the university itself does not have competent human resources to run its own medical school how can it monitor the others? The examinations are centrally controlled but locally open. The monitoring of the examinations lacks the ethical part. Unhealthy competition in medical schools has brought their production as risks to the health of the common people. Although Nepal Medical Council has set certain standards in fixing the quota for admission and others, it seems always contradictory to what they say and what they do.
Recent experiences have demonstrated that NMC has been unable to carry out its philosophy in a real sense. In some universities, one can see that the university remains busy in calculating the number of students to be admitted in the medical schools it affiliated. Then they select the number of students based on the quota and not on the quality of the entrants. Moreover, the universities do not have medical programs only; they have several other programs too. Having a pocket of medical experts in the Academic Council and deciding the fate of medical future of the country is sheer negligence and injustice to the people.
MANA PRASAD WAGLEY
Moreover, decisions on medical school issues are more administrative than technical because the authorities in the universities are not knowledgeable in this area. The benefit which has been reaped by the “medical-mafia” outside is keeping the authorities in the dark or playing with corrupt measures. How can, then, one be assured that medical education in Nepal is flourishing? There has been no planning on how many medical colleges does Nepal need.
Another issue in medical education is the accreditation. In principle, universities are bound to accept what other universities are producing. But in reality can they be judged at par? No way. None of the medical school products in Nepal are at par with the IoM products considering the physical facilities, hospital facilities, equipment, and human resources. Where is the standard then? Should not we think of making all the products of different medical schools at least minimally equal? This responsibility solely goes to the government and it has remained incapable. The NMC examinations for the doctors prior to practicing their knowledge and skills can be considered one part of this agenda but not the whole. Thus, Nepal needs one strong institution to correct all these anomalies and work as an umbrella institution.
soure:Wagley , Mana Prasad (2014),"University of Medical Sciences: Urgent need", The Himalayan times,27 jan 2014
photo/art: The Himalayan Times
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