Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Appeal to save Nepal Medical Council

Dear doctors and to-be-doctors,

I am not here to defend this or that person or to justify this or that action of Nepal Medical Council. A lot of lapses has been seen on part of the NMC officials in the past and the current team may not be the best we can get. (Yet this is the team most of whose members we duly elected.)

But there is no ignoring that, whether it is due to pressure from CIAA or due to a delayed flash of conscience among the officials, NMC has taken some commendable steps in the recent past towards bringing back the long derailed medical education system in the country into its tracks.

And precisely this action of theirs has invited them the troubles. A reliable source says that (I have no contact channels to our elected body members) the Health Minister, after staging a drama of forming a committee, has been pressurizing the Council to either increase the seats of medical colleges where it was decreased this year or simply face dismissal.

How is that possible? You may ask. But anything is possible in this justice-forsaken country. This particular minister is ready to do anything to preserve his personal and party interests.



While I find the part of same decision by NMC to drastically increase the seats of some medical colleges of questionable reputation which also deserved an axe rather than the reward, that should not be the excuse to repeat the folly elsewhere.

The prime question now is this: what happens if NMC refuses to bend the way the minister wants and is scrapped through a decision? All options are open with one exception: improvement and progress in the field. If indeed NMC collapses, the minister will try to bring some puppets of his (I wonder which idiots among doctors still follow this demented  politician after all he and his cronies have done to the fraternity).

But that is less likely option. More likely and potentially more damaging situation will come if indeed NMC bites the bullet and bends the way the minister wants.

So what is our role at this moment. I think, while they may not be perfect and they might have committed mistakes in the past, the NMC members are still part of our fraternity and their humiliation is the humiliation of entire fraternity. When there is a tussle between a conscienceless politician and some members of our fraternity, there is no need to say which side we should support.

I think, the minister's calculation is that, having enjoyed the privilege once, the officials will rather bend to his will rather than facing dismissal. He may be trying to utilize the generalized sense of frustration towards NMC among the doctors to his favor. And obviously he is trying to settle all this in the dark beyond the reach of media so that he can appear as the genuine guardian of the health sector who "checks the irregularities resulting from NMC's improper decisions".

Here comes our role. NMA and NDA presidents already being members of NMC, I hope these two bodies have already formulated strategies to fight the minister's assault on the fraternity. If that is not the case, they should promptly decide and join the fight. I think the resident bodies across the country (at IOM, NAMS and BPKIHS) and the student bodies should join along by releasing their own condemnation of the Minister's move.

If that is done, I think, the minister will be unable to do anything to the NMC officials and will likely abstain from similar adventures in the future.

If that is not done and we stand by as the NMC officials bear the wrath of the corrupt political machine in the country, that will be unfortunate for all of us.

Let's join hands from wherever we are.

(Read more on the issue here)



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