Private colleges seek hearing on fee hike

Senate panel says medical universities already earning huge profits


Asma Ghani October 08, 2017
PHOTO: REUTERS

ISLAMABAD: The parliamentary committee’s opinion over fee hike is based on one sided information while the views of private colleges are missing that should be heard in the committee which would justify increase in admission fee, claim colleges.

The Pakistan Medical and Dental Council has proposed to increase the annual fees of medical college from Rs642,000 to Rs800,000 that is yet to be approved by the law ministry and cabinet. The council and health ministry had argued that keeping in mind annual inflation and the fact that the tuition fees for private medical and dental colleges have not been increased for several years, the raise has been agreed for new admissions.

Govt shoots down idea to hike fees of medical colleges

But opposing the new admission policy at a Senate Standing Committee on National Health Services Regulations and Coordination on October 5, the committee members said that increase in admission fees cannot be allowed as colleges are earning huge profits.

Expressing reservations over Senators views Pakistan Association of Medical and Dental Institutions (PAMI) General Secretary Khaqan Khawaja on Saturday while briefing the media persons said the information of the committee members is based on only PMDC briefing and its one sided and not based on facts.

He said the word used by Senator Attiq Shaikh for medical colleges ‘ Mafia’ is condemnable. The government itself is spending Rs 2.1 million on a medical student while a private college is charging Rs. 0.8m then how they can they be called a mafia? he questioned. In India a medical student pays from 1.1million to 2.1million  annually, he said.

He further added that to give medical education to poor students is government’s job as medical education is expensive all over the world and private colleges are not supposed to give medical education to the poor students. He said a college spends Rs.32 million along with millions of utility bills but it is not considered by the senators.

Fee hike

He said the current council set up is illegal as its members have completed their term in 2016. The steps taken by this council would be considered illegal unless a new set up takes place through election.

He alleged that if he had bribed the PMDC the admissions of his medical college (Rawal Medical College) would not have been stopped. He said corrupt people have been running the affairs of the council.

Published in The Express Tribune, October 8th, 2017.

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