HIMALAYAN NEWS SERVICE
KATHMANDU: The resignation tendered by the Dean of the Institute of Medicine has exposed several vested interest groups in the Tribhuvan University and Nepal Medical Council, which apparently have blatantly ignored the existing norms to grant affiliation to four proposed medical colleges that lack the basic infrastructural facilities.
Dr Prakash Sayami, who was appointed the Dean of Institute of Medicine, on August 19, 2012 is on leave.
His resignation is to come into force from December 17.
IoM sources, claiming to be in the know of things coming from the Vice Chancellor, said Dr Sayami stepped down on moral ground to avoid losing face in public on the issue of affiliation.
The resignation letter addressed to the Vice Chancellor cites health reasons.
The proposed medical colleges that have been flexing muscles in the corridors of powers of TU and IoM and even resorting to arm-twisting to secure affiliation are: Kathmandu National Medical College, Man Mohan Medical College, Nepal Police Medical College and People’s Dental and Medical College.
Sources said these colleges seeking affiliation did not meet the basic criteria: 100 ropanis of land, adequate number of teaching staff and 300-bed fully operational hospital. That apart, the distance between various campuses of a college cannot be more than 10 kilometres.
The distance is calculated on point to point basis by taking into account the road distance only, sources said.
“Some of the colleges seeking affiliation have even submitted details of land belonging to some other parties,” sources said. “How can affiliation be granted to colleges when they do not have their own land?”
Sources said the Dean’s Office and several members of the Faculty Board were opposed to granting affiliation to any new medical colleges as per the criteria developed by a three-member task force.
The task force comprised Dr Sarad Raj Onta, Assistant Dean (Academic), IoM; Prof Tri Ratna Bajracharya, Assistant Dean (Planning), Institute of Engineering; and Prof Pralhad Raj Pant, Chief, Planning Division, TU.
One of the recommendations of the task force was that TU/IoM should rather give affiliation to colleges to be opened in the mid-western and far-western regions than to the ones in Kathmandu. “New medical colleges should not be affiliated in the district or region where number of medical colleges is significant and visible,” one of the sources said.
Sources claimed that the task force had drawn three broad principles for granting affiliation to medical colleges: there should not be any compromise on quality of education, new colleges should ensure equity and justice to the people and there should be social accountability.
As per the principles, the colleges must demonstrate their physical, academic and financial capabilities which are set by the Nepal Medical Council, TU and IoM.
Meeting these criteria, would, sources said, mean a new medical college would require an investment to the tune of Rs 37.5 crores-42.5 crores.
Dr Sayami, they said, stepped down also because the Dean’s Office did not at all receive cooperation from Tribhuvan University, particularly from the offices of the Vice Chancellor, the Registrar and the Rector.
The Dean’s efforts to promote many deserving colleagues, make permanent those who were on contract and improve quality of education and services at the Institute of Medicine and its affiliated medical colleges also fell on deaf ears.