See More on Facebook

Opinion

Wrong prescription

The Nepalese Prime Minister’s stated goal is to ensure prosperity to all, but a medical bill will profiteer only a tiny section.


Written by

Updated: July 16, 2018

Dr Govinda KC’s hunger strike against certain provisions in the National Medical Education Bill continues to attract a great deal of attention. There is widespread anger against the government’s refusal to take steps that would help end KC’s hunger strike, even though his condition is quite critical.

Unsurprisingly, a large number of protestors came out to Maitighar Mandala on Saturday to express solidarity with him. The crowd included doctors, politicians, students, celebrities and professionals from various sectors, demonstrating how Dr KC’s hunger strike has caught the public imagination.

Furthermore, there is now close public scrutiny of the draft bill. It is now widely recognised that the bill has been drafted primarily with the intention of benefiting a small number of entrepreneurs and their cronies in the political parties, rather than improving the medical education in Nepal as a whole. What has particularly infuriated the protestors is that the bill in fact backtracks from prior commitments made by the government during previous occasions when Dr KC was on hunger strike.

The public pressure generated through Dr KC’s protest has made an impact on the government. The Speaker of Parliament, who is from the ruling Nepal Communist Party (NCP), has temporarily halted the passage of the bill through Parliament. This is a positive step, but it is only a makeshift one. What the government should do next is withdraw the bill, engage in widespread consultations and revise it. The Mathema Commission was formed to offer recommendations on the health education bill. Perhaps it is time to form another similar commission consisting of eminent personalities from the medical sector. The bill in its current form is fatally damaged. Much work will need to be done to develop consensus and rebuild trust between the government and society.

Also, the government would do well to reflect how the bill it has proposed matches with its stated priorities. Prime Minister KP Oli has said that his primary goal is to ensure greater prosperity for all Nepalis. But the bill in its current form seems to envisage a Nepal where only a small number of Nepalis will profiteer at the expense of other. If the bill is enacted into law, it will enable the establishment of poorly equipped medical colleges that charge a great deal of money to students. The colleges will be located in the capital and other large cities and would not be of benefit to the poorer regions.

Oli has also said that he intends to ensure good governance. But the bill is the very epitome of bad governance, since it enables the rampant spread of crony capitalism and the rule of law. It is clear that the passage of the bill will cause the population to lose faith in the government’s intention to fulfill its stated objectives. The bill needs to be withdrawn and redrafted through broad consultation without further delay.



Enjoyed this story? Share it.


The Kathmandu Post
About the Author: The Kathmandu Post was Nepal’s first privately owned English broadsheet daily and is currently the country's leading English-language newspaper.

Eastern Briefings

All you need to know about Asia


Our Eastern Briefings Newsletter presents curated stories from 22 Asian newspapers from South, Southeast and Northeast Asia.

Sign up and stay updated with the latest news.



By providing us with your email address, you agree to our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.

View Today's Newsletter Here

Opinion

Dialogue important after India-Pakistan crisis

As India and Pakistan wake up to the real possibilities of war, it is time to give dialogue another chance. Although the 2019 India-Pakistan standoff may have passed its immediate intensity, it is clear that the entire episode has left a slew of new worries for policymakers all over the world. It is crucial that lessons are learnt and crisis-handling procedures between the two countries put in place. Because there is no doubt that Pakistan and India were perilously close to war. In a digital age, resonating with the red noise of alternative facts fuelled by ultra-nationalisms, it was clear that the Modi regime’s need to bolster its flagging electoral ratings before an election took the Indian act of border incursion into Pakistan’s Ba


By Dawn
March 15, 2019

Opinion

Time for trusting Thai junta coming to an end

After four years of military rule, the military’s credibility is at an all time low. By the time the military holds elections on March 24, Thailand will have spent 1,767 days under military rule. During that time, dissent has been suppressed, freedom of expression has eroded, the press has been attacked publicly and privately by the government and the population will not have had a single say in matters of governance. And yet a constant mantra that the military has chanted throughout that time has been the almost paternalistic “trust me.” “Trust me, I am replacing the democratically-elected government for the good of the people.” “Trust me, we need to lessen criticism of the junta for unity’s sake.” “Trust me, this constitution is necessary to have elections.” “Trust me, we will hold an election within a year.”


By Cod Satrusayang
March 7, 2019

Opinion

Freedom’s limits

China President Xi Jinping will have to countenance a major challenge at this week’s meeting of the “Two Sessions”. China has reached a critical juncture and President Xi Jinping ~ permanently at the helm of the party and government ~ will have to countenance a major challenge at this week’s meeting of the “Two Sessions”, so-called. Thousands of delegates will congregate at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing during the two weeks of meetings of the National People’s Congress (NPC) and the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), an advisory body. It is a measure of the brewing tension that the authorities have gone on overdrive to muffle the faintest dissent; there is for instance a public warning against what they call “over-the-top praise” and robust condemnation. While this may be concordant with traditional Communist praxis, remarkable too must be the fact that the syste


By The Statesman
March 7, 2019

Opinion

OP ED: Moon Jae-In writes about ASEAN before his visit to the region

South Korean – ASEAN ties important as Moon makes his visit to the region. Next week, I will be making state visits to Brunei, Malaysia and Cambodia. I am very pleased that ASEAN member states will be the destination of my first overseas tour this year. I extend warm greetings of friendship from the citizens of the Republic of Korea to our ASEAN friends. ASEAN always reminds me of the sea that nurtured and raised me. I grew up in Busan, the largest port city of the Republic of Korea. My parents were displaced from their hometown, and it was the inclusiveness and understanding of those who lived with the sea that took in my impoverished family. From them, I was able to learn a lesson of courage and hope that no matter how harsh the storm and waves, we can weather them if we gather our strengths. Most ASEAN member states not only lie by the sea but also possess infinite wisdom and power stemming fro


By Moon Jae In
March 6, 2019

Opinion

Sino-US clash ‘won’t get you anywhere’

Op Ed in China Daily talks about possible economic ramification of US – Chinese confrontation. A confrontational China-US relationship does not benefit anyone because the interests of the two countries are deeply interwoven, Zhang Yesui, spokesman for the annual session of the National People’s Congress, said in Beijing on Monday. Asked at a news conference about Beijing’s response to Washington’s increasingly hard-line policy toward China, Zhang said, “It won’t get you anywhere to deal with new problems in the context of globalization with a Cold War mentality.” Zhang, a former vice-minister of foreign affairs, said China has a consistent and clear policy toward the United States. China is dedicated to having a relationship based on nonconflict, nonconfrontation, mutual respect and win-win cooperation, he said, adding that China will also firmly safeguard its s


By China Daily
March 6, 2019

Opinion

Opinion: Belt and Road Initiative by no means a debt trap

A op-ed in the China Daily refutes claims that the Belt and Road program is a debt trap for countries. Proposed by President Xi Jinping in 2013, the Belt and Road Initiative has drawn extensive attention worldwide. After five years, the concept and vision of the initiative have been put into practice, with some already yielding fruits and promoting the building of a new pattern for the coordinated development of China and the world. Perhaps that’s why many consider the initiative to be the most important public good provided by China for the world. As a new platform for international development and cooperation, the initiative facilitates China’s engagement with the rest of world while making it possible to establish a more just and reasonable world order that would highlight the importance of Chinese wisdom in building a prosperous future for humankind. Thanks to the contributions the Belt


By China Daily
March 5, 2019