Dr. Khem Raj Joshi
Department of Health Sciences, Pokhara University
Could you share with us the present status of Health Science program of Pokhara University?
Having commenced with Bachelor of Pharmaceutical Science (B.Pharm), the university had a very limited number health programs in its initial phase. There were only B.Pharmacy, B. MLT, BPH and B.Sc. Nursing running at constituent campuses and B.Pharmacy, BPHS, BMLT, B.Sc. Nursing, B.Sc. Medical Microbiology and B.Sc. Medical Biochemistry were offered at its affiliated health colleges under the faculty of Health Sciences.
At present, as a constituent campus, we are running B. Optometric program at Himalayan Eye Hospital, Pokhara and M. optometric programs at Tilganga Eye Hospital, Kathmandu for the first time in Nepal. As of today, as many as 82 thousand nurses have been registered in Nepal Nursing Council, but nurses for cancer treatment have not been produced in sufficient numbers. Considering the shortage of nurses for cancer treatment, we are running BNS (Oncology), first time in Nepal at BP Koirala Cancer Hospital.
The constituent campus is also running MPH-Public Health Service Management, MPH-Health Promotion and Education, M.Sc. in Medical Bio-chemistry and M.Sc. in Medical Microbiology.
Similarly, with the aim at fulfilling the lacunae of human resources in radio therapy and radiology, Pokhara University is planning to run B.Sc. in Radiology and B.Sc. in Radiotherapy at BP Koirala Cancer Hospital, Bharatpur. Furthermore, we have prepared curricula of B.Sc. Human Genetics and Bio-chemistry and B.Sc. Medical Molecular Microbiology, which are going to be launched in the incoming academic session.
Pokhara University has envisioned running its own teaching hospital. Where has the process reached?
We have been offering paramedical science programs since the establishment of Pokhara University, and we are now planning to run our own teaching hospital. Currently, we have laid the foundation stone of a 150 bedded hospital in the premises of the University to systematize the existing 16 health science programs. The hospital will be enlarged as a teaching hospital in the near future.
How do you acknowledge the performance of health science graduates in the global market?
There are one constituent campus, three campuses with joint venture and five affiliated campuses that offer health science programs under Pokhara University. Bharatpur Cancer Hospital, Himalayan Eye Hospital, Tilganga Eye Hospital are the constituent campuses in joint venture. There are 16 programs in health sciences and an intake consists of around 4000 students every year. All our undergraduates and graduates are employed in the global market. While analyzing the pass results, it’s between 85% and 90% of total students. All our graduates have seized leading positions at reputed government and non-government organizations inside and outside the country.
It is rumored that there is no proper coordination among the programs of health sciences due to lack of experts. How do you exonerate yourself of this allegation?
The joint ventured constituent campuses and individual constituent campuses have been producing qualified human resources. On the other hand, the affiliated campuses are also producing globally employable workforce. In this regard, there is no shortage of skilled human resources in Pokhara University. Moreover, there is close coordination and collaboration of the University not only with its sub-ordinate departments but also with its constituent and affiliated colleges that ensures quality in health education.
In your experience, which programs of health sciences have added aura to the renown of the Pokhara University?
All the programs of Pokhara University have high demand in the global market. In the context of health science sector, all the courses are equally important. Physiotherapy program of Pokhara University enrolls 20 students in one intake whereas 30 students are enrolled in an intake of Kathmandu University. Similarly, B. Optometry is taught in NAMS, IOM and PU. Due to the limited number of seats in these programs, the charm and attraction of these programs is increasing in the course of time.
Health Care Management program is essential and significant for health sector, but it has failed to gain popularity. What could be the reason?
Health Care Management is a hybrid course that incorporates the courses of health science, management and humanities. Students have study health, management, policy and programs. Currently, the course is being operated under the Management faculty. But it is more suitable to run under the faculty of Health Science if we analyze its nature. The program embodies the curricula of Health Sciences, Management and Social Sciences. In my opinion, the course should be revised and should include 60% of health science, 30% of management and 10% of social sciences syllabi in order to ensuring its wider scope. For gaining more popularity than this, the message should be reached up to students about its importance and scope. Since it is a newly emerged program, the popularity will be gradually increased among students and guardians.
In your experience, what is the role and duty of health science program?
Health Science is directly related to community and people. Health is considered the greatest wealth of people and physical fitness can maintain social harmony and prosperity of a society. Considering this, 16 health science programs are being operated by the Pokhara University. The syllabuses are updated timely according to the changing scenario of global education. There are other new programs that are being offered by the faculty of health science. And the task of health science program is to ensure none of the graduates remained unemployed and are globally saleable.
What suggestions would you like to give to ten-plus-two graduates regarding their enrollment in health science program?
Health Science program of Pokhara University is globally demanded syllabus. It’s been four years since the University launched this faculty. And all the health-aided programs of Pokhara University are equally important for respective sectors. I therefore suggest that students choose the area on their own discretion acknowledging their performance capacity. If you complete a four years’ health science course in any area, undoubtedly you can be independent and you can easily grab a job opportunity in any part of the world. Moreover, the health science programs of Pokhara University are timely revised and updated as per the demand of the global market. So, I suggest that students visit any Pokhara University accredited colleges to ensure an award-winning career in health sector.