Health Minister Zahid Maleque on Wednesday placed a bill before the parliament for ensuring discipline in the country's private-sector medical and dental colleges by bringing those under an act, instead of the existing two separate guidelines.
Titled "Private Medical College and Dental College Bill", it was later sent to the parliamentary standing committee concerned for further scrutiny within the next 60 days.
Currently, the country's 70 private medical colleges and 26 private dental colleges are being operated under the Private Medical College Establishment and Operation Guidelines, 2011 and the Private Dental College Establishment and Operation Guidelines, 2009.
According to the proposed law, such institutes can be affiliated to any public university and the government will fix their academic fees.
The authorities concerned will inspect the colleges and their adjacent hospitals from time to time. In case of violation of the law, there will be punishments – up to two years of imprisonment, Tk10 lakh fine or both.
The bill also suggests a private medical or dental college must have at least 50 students and the teacher-student ratio will have to be 1:10.
A medical college should be established on at least two acres of land in any metropolitan area or four acres outside cities, while the land requirements for the dental college are one acre or two acres respectively.
The proposed law says a reserve fund of Tk3 crore is needed – deposited with any commercial bank – for establishing a medical college and Tk2 crore for a dental college. Besides, the college authorities will have to dispose of medical waste in a scientific manner.
Meanwhile, the parliament passed the "Bangladesh National Museum Bill" to make the country's museums more dynamic and vibrant, on the same day. The act has replaced the Bangladesh Jatiya Jadughar Ordinance, 1983.
State Minister for Cultural Affairs KM Khalid placed the bill and it was passed by voice vote.
As per the proposed bill, the highest punishments for museum-related crimes are 10 years' jail, Tk 10 lakh fine or both, which would also be applicable for other museums alongside the National Museum.