From the time when most of its doctors came from India, Nepal has come a long way.

Not only, it is catering to its own demands for the doctors now, it is also emerging as one of the favourite stops for medical students across the region including India.

With developed infrastructure in medical professional institutes, the country is witnessing a major inflow of foreign students to study medicines.

“About 40 per cent of our total registered medical students in my university are from India,” Suresh Raj Sharma, Vice-Chancellor of Kathmandu University (KU), told a group of visiting Indian journalists.

KU, set up in 1991 by an Act of the Parliament, through its seven affiliated medical colleges is also attracting students from other South Asian countries, he said adding the university was also producing more than half of the doctors in Nepal from these colleges.

“At present, we are producing about 60 per cent of the country’s total doctors, thanks to our MoU with India’s Manipal Academy of Higher Education,” said the Vice-Chancellor.

Notably, Manipal Academy has helped KU in developing conventional and innovative academic programmes in medical sciences.

“Manipal Education has brought in experience and provided expertise in developing the varsity’s medical curriculum. They have a representative in our Academic Council,” said Mr. Sharma.

Manipal Academy of Higher Education entered Nepal after an agreement with the government in 1992 to promote the highest level of medical education in the country. Hence, Manipal College of Medical Sciences (MCOMS) was set up in 1994 and got affiliation from KU.

MCOMS, listed by WHO into its seventh edition of ’World Directory Of Medical Schools’, is located at Pokhara, a picturesque valley town 200 km west of Kathmandu.

“About 700 students pass out annually from our seven affiliated medical colleges and MCOMS contributes the most as it is the most sought after medical college in the country,” the vice-chancellor said.

MCOMS, the first private medical college to be set up in Nepal, is recognised by the Medical Councils of Sri Lanka, Nepal, Bangladesh and Mauritius.

“We are happy to contribute in developing skilled manpower in Nepal. Besides doctors, we are producing skilled nurses through our B Sc Nursing Programme,” said Brig (Retd) Dr. O.P. Talwar, Officiating Dean, MCOMS and Chairman, PG Subject Committee, KU.

Though MBBS and MD courses are open to all foreigners, nursing programme is open only for Nepalese, he said, adding they were also helping Nepal in medical faculty development.

Lt. Col. (Retd) Dr. Shishir Gokhale, Director Basic Sciences at MCOMS, said that the college, this year, had witnessed a significance increase in the number of Indian students. “We have witnessed about 50 per cent increase in the admission of Indian students this year,” he said.

“I enjoy studying here as the campus is located at picturesque Pokhara. It has also got good infrastructure. As I am a student from Northeastern part of India it’s like second home for me,” said Leeza Mainao Brahma, a student from Assam.

“We here received excellent practical sessions though the Manipal Teaching Hospital,” said Priyanka Vaid, another student.