The Karnali Academy of Health Sciences (KAHS) has started to run Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery (MBBS) courses from Sunday.
This historic beginning is expected to boost medical education and health services in remote areas of Karnali. As per the act prepared by the academy to operate MBBS classes, 45 percent of seats have been allocated to students from Jumla, Humla, Dolpa, Kalikot, Mugu, Jajarkot, Bajura, Bajhang and Achham districts. Students from across the nation can compete for the remaining seats.
KAHS was established in 2011 to improve the health services the districts of the Karnali zone.
Earlier, the academy had acquired permission to run Doctor of Medicine in General Practices and Emergency Medicine (MDGP) course. In June, 2019, Nepal Medical Council (NMC) had granted KAHS the permission to start MDGP course, opening an avenue for the academy to produce specialist doctors.
KAHS was initially operated by a specialist and five doctors in the first year of establishment. In 2013, the zonal hospital was upgraded to academy, which currently has 300 beds.
The academy currently has all modern health amenities with a total of 75 specialist doctors.
In recent times, KAHS has brought into operation its own pharmacy, oxygen plant, and blood donation services. Some 200 patients visit the academy every day. The hospital also has its own Intensive Care Unit (ICU), Computed Topography (CT) Scan service, and the Ear, Nose and Throat (ENT) department.
KAHS also started conducting classes for the postgraduate (MD) degree under medical sciences from March this year.
Dr Govinda KC, orthopaedic surgeon and medical activist, had launched his 19th hunger strike in Jumla in September 2020. He ended the 28-day-long strike in October after the government agreed to address most of his demands related to medical education, including running MBBS classes at KAHS.