MBBS fee panel’s recommendation goes against Dr KC’s demand

Dilip Dhakal / October 7, 2016

Dr Govinda KC on the 13th day of the 8th hunger strike last July. Source: Wikipedia

Dr Govinda KC on the 13th day of the 8th hunger strike last July. Source: Wikipedia

Since the last five years Dr Govinda KC of the TU Teaching Hospital has been at the forefront of campaigns demanding reforms in the medical sector and he is currently staging the ninth fast-unto-death. After his sixth fast-unto-death (August 24 – September 6, 2015), the government had agreed to meet some of his demands including formation of a medical education commission as per the recommendation of the Mathema report, gradual reduction in the number of seats at medical colleges to 100 within the next three years and fixing the MBBS fee at Rs 3.5 million.  Following the agreement, medical colleges were allotted 135 MBBS seats in maximum last year and this year the seats would be further decreased to 115.

However, a panel formed to review the MBBS fees has this week recommended against reducing the number of seats citing huge investments made in the medical colleges. The panel has said that the seat numbers be fixed at 150 and 135 arguing that fewer seats will cause the MBBS fees to go up.

Since it is difficult to minimize the costs related to infrastructure, human resource and staff at the existing colleges with 150 and 135 seats, reducing the number of seats to 115 and 100 will push the fees higher by around 50 percent and as a result the regular fee will reach Rs 4.156 million and Rs 4.721 million respectively, the committee has come to the conclusion that seat numbers cannot be fixed,” the report’s conclusion states.

The panel has also set different fee structures for Nepali students wishing to study MBBS under “commercial quota”. Students pursuing MBBS degree under commercial quota will have to pay almost 50 percent more than the regular fee. If the panel’s report is endorsed by the cabinet, the number of seats in medical colleges will not come down below 135.

MBBS fees proposed by the committee

Seat number Regular fee (in rupees) Commercial fee (in rupees)
150 3.239 million 4.859 million
135 3.588 million 5.382 million
115 4.156 million 6.234 million
100 4.570 million 6.855 million
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