The Kathmandu University (KU) has recommended the Medical Education Commission to provide affiliation to the Jhapa-based B&C Medical College as per a decision taken during its 625th meeting held on May 14.

B&C Medical College Teaching Hospital and Research Center Pvt Ltd is a proposed medical college awaiting university affiliation.

On Sunday, KU wrote a letter to the Medical Education Commission stating that the university had decided to give its affiliation to the B&C Medical College after a team of experts from KU inspected the hospital.

As per the letter, a team from KU had conducted a preliminary inspection of B&C from May 5 to May 9.

The letter states that its recommendation is in line with clause 13(6) of the Medical Education Act, 2075.

The said article states that after the enactment of the Act, a university cannot give affiliation to more than one educational institution.

Similarly, the clause states that this provision will not be applicable to educational institutions which have already got affiliation before the issuance of the Act and have fulfilled required criteria by obtaining the letter of intent.

Owner of B&C Medical College Durga Prasai has been insisting on getting affiliation according to the same clause.

The Medical Education Act also provisions that a medical college should submit an application to the Medical Education Commission for approval of the letter of intent and affiliation. However, KU has itself has written to the Commission with decision to provide affiliation, bypassing the said provision Act.

Officials of the Medical Education Commission, on the other hand, say that B&C cannot be provided affiliation since it has not renewed its letter of intent approved five years ago.

Senior orthopaedic surgeon Dr Govinda KC, an activist fighting for significant reforms in the country’s medical educational, along with other medical health experts, say that a university should not be affiliated to more than five medical colleges in the Kathmandu Valley so as to maintain the quality of health education.

The Medical Education Act stipulates also the same provision.

KU has already given its affiliation to more than five educational institutions. The Act, however, stipulates that the Commission can decide on providing affiliation to more than five medical colleges outside the Kathmandu Valley.

KU had decided last year to move ahead with the process of giving affiliation to B&C.

During its meeting, Prime Minister and KU Vice-Chancellor KP Sharma Oli along with KU Vice-Chancellor and Education Minister Shrestha had decided to move ahead with the affiliation despite reservations by some KU officials.

A case related to B&C’s KU affiliation is also currently under consideration at the Supreme Court.

Dr KC, issuing a statement, has raised question saying, “How did the university inspection team reach Jhapa at a time when the city was under lockdown? How did B&C’s inspection go smoothly when the MBBS entrance exams have been postponed due to the pandemic? How was it possible for all specialist doctors to leave their jobs and go inspect B&C amid the COVID-19 pressure? Or was the report prepared without proper monitoring and without sending experts?”

Commenting on KU’s move, advocate Omprakash Aryal, who is an ally in Dr KC’s reform campaign, said, “This is a completely corrupt act from the side of KU officials. Authorities should immediately investigate the university.”