The Pakistan Medical Association (PMA) has again accused private medical colleges of violating Pakistan Medical and Dental Council (PMDC) regulations by conducting admissions before public medical colleges complete their process, though private colleges deny this.
The admission process has been put on hold after the formula used to calculate the merit list, which determines which students get coveted seats at public medical colleges, was challenged in the Lahore High Court.
Under PMDC rules, admissions to private colleges can only be made once the process for public colleges, conducted by the University of Health Sciences (UHS) in the Punjab, is finished. This process for public colleges was supposed to have been completed by October 30 and classes were scheduled to begin on November 21, but the LHC has told the UHS to halt the process while it considers a petition challenging the merit formula. The formula was recently changed to give more weight to the intermediate results and less to the entry test score.
Private colleges are conducting admissions activities, but they say there is nothing illegal about them. One student told The Express Tribune that he had already paid a private college around Rs70,000 as tuition fees for the first year.
Muhammad Azhar Siddique, who is representing the petitioners in the case against the merit formula, said that the court had halted admissions so the private colleges were acting illegally if they were going ahead with the process.
“This shows that the UHS has failed to get its rules on private medical colleges implemented. It means that PMDC regulations are only applicable to the poor students who go to public sector medical colleges. The rich can do whatever they want in private medical colleges,” Siddique said.
Pakistan Medical Association (PMA) Joint Secretary Dr Salman Kazmi said that the private medical colleges were acting illegally and their actions would “devastate” medical education in the province. “We appeal to the chief justice to take notice of the situation and stop private colleges from devastating medical educations standards,” he said.
However, the principal of a private college who wished not to be named said that the colleges were not doing anything illegal as they had not finalised any admissions. “We haven’t done any permanent admissions. These are just temporary admissions so we have an idea about how many of our seats can be filled. If any of these students get into a public medical college he or she can go their. We will refund all their dues except the admission fee,” he said.
Published in The Express Tribune, November 1st, 2011.
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The private medical education should be permanently banned in Pakistan. We should not make a business of playing with human lives. Private medical colleges are just a business which is very dangerous.
By the way 70,000 kahan ki fee hai!! :p DO tell me !! :P