LAHORE: Some of the city’s private medical colleges have started displaying final merit lists for their 2010 MBBS admissions. Most of the private medical colleges have also set September 28 as the deadline for submission of admission dues.
According to applicants and their parents, both these decisions are in violation of the Pakistan Medical and Dental Council (PM&DC) rules and regulations regarding MBBS admissions. The PM&DC advertised in various national newspapers that private medical colleges are barred from demanding fees from applicants before October 31. The advertisements stated that October 31 was the deadline for public medical colleges to complete their admissions process.
PM&DC rules also state that private medical colleges cannot display their final merit lists or ask applicants to submit college dues until after the final merit lists of public medical colleges have been displayed.
“The University of Lahore displayed its MBBS admission merit list on September 23,” said Zunaira, an applicant for admission at the University of Lahore. She said that the university’s administration had asked students who had scored well on the merit lists to submit their dues otherwise they might lose their seat.
Zunaira said that she was placed low on the merit list but the administration had told her to wait as she might get a chance to buy an MBBS seat if someone above the cut off did not submit fees.
CMH Lahore Medical and Dental College has started calling applicants near the top of their merit list urging them to submit dues by September 28. An applicant who came to take his entry test on September 26 at the Shaikh Khalifa Medical and Dental College spoke to The Express Tribune on the condition of anonymity. He said that CMH Lahore’s Brig Nadeem had called him and said that he would lose his seat if he did not deposit the dues (around Rs500,000) by September 28. He said he was confused as he had obtained 82 per cent marks and did not know whether he would gain entry to a public medical college.
He said that CMH Lahore had refused to allow him time to think and when he informed them that their demand was in violation of the PM&DC rules, they responded that CMH’s rules would be followed at their medical colleges.
CMH Lahore’s principal, Lt Gen (r) Dr Muhammad Afzal, confirmed that CMH Lahore had started asking the applicants to submit dues. He said that it was CMH policy that if an applicant was accepted in any public medical college, he would be entitled to refund of the dues.
He admitted that CMH had asked students to submit their dues till September 28. He said that October 31 was the deadline for public medical colleges only.
Nusrat Jahan, the mother of an applicant, said, “Sharif Medical and Dental College has asked students to deposit their fees this week.” She said that the Punjab government caused problems for 30,000 MBBS and BDS applicants by not announcing the admissions date for the public medical colleges. Jahan said that the private medical colleges were threatening them with the loss of MBBS seats if dues were not paid immediately.
Jahan said her daughter had 80 per cent marks in the UHS entry test and A-levels and it was unclear if she would be admitted to a public medical college. Jahan said that the PM&DC had shown weakness in not enforcing its own rules when it came to private medical colleges.
The Punjab government has not announced the schedule of admissions for the 3,205 MBBS seats in 18 public medical colleges. However, 15 private medical colleges have started admissions to their 1,400 MBBS seats.
A University of Health Sciences spokesman told The Express Tribune that private medical colleges that have started admissions are in violation of PM&DC rules. He said stern action would be taken against them.
PM&DC registrar Dr Nadeem was not available for comment.
Published in The Express Tribune, September 28th, 2010.
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