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Admission seekers to private medical colleges in a Catch-22 situation

A large number of students who want to get admission to private medical colleges are facing a catch-22 situation as they need at least Rs4 million to secure a seat.

Although the amount will be reimbursed, all students cannot afford to arrange such a huge amount at once.

On the other hand, an ongoing tussle between University of Health Sciences (UHS) and Pakistan Association of Private Medical and Dental Institutions (PAMI) has further frustrated the students.

Pakistan Medical and Dental Council (PMDC) President Prof Dr Rizwan Taj said he will try his best to address the issue.

Munir Ahmed, uncle of a student who has cleared Medical and Dental Colleges Admission Test (MDCAT), told Dawn that because of the vague policies and lack of control by the PMDC, students and their parents were suffering.

Because of different closing dates for registration, candidates need at least Rs4 million to apply in more than one college, say parents

“Ideally, portals of all universities, for registration, should open and close on same date, but it is not being practised in Pakistan. UHS closed its portal on October 31 and later opened it for two days when court directed that the MDCAT of 2022 should also be considered for admissions.

In Sindh, the portal will be closed on January 5 and Khyber Medical University has announced to close the portal on January 3. On the other hand,

in Islamabad, the colleges have also started the process for admission,” he said.

“UHS announced centralised induction and directed students to deposit Rs1 million each in the UHS’s account. It said the amount will be transferred to the medical college in which the student will be inducted and they have to deposit the remaining amount in the college.

However, PAMI office-bearers held a press conference and said it will admit students on its own, and has almost completed the process of admission as interviews of students are being conducted in Rawalpindi and Lahore.

But parents were left with no choice but to deposit Rs1 million with UHS besides paying the fee to colleges.

Punjab caretaker Health Minister Prof Dr Javed Akram while talking to Dawn said UHS had even displayed the second list of candidates so the portal could not be reopened.

“However, I want to make it clear that students who are getting enrolled in medical colleges bypassing the UHS will waste their time and money. UHS will never register them and PMDC will not accept their registration without getting a nod from the UHS. A doctor needs a medical record number (MRN) for practice and those students will not get the MR number,” he clarified.

Shahid Nazir, a resident of Islamabad, said parents always try to admit their children in the nearest college having lower fee but they also apply in colleges of Sindh, Punjab and KP.

“Parents are being pushed by children to deposit fees across the country to secure their admission. They are saying that the amount of fee will be reimbursed but it is not possible for us to arrange such a huge amount. PMDC should have instructed the universities to open and close the admission portals at the same date so that students would deposit fee at most preferred colleges to secure the seat,” he said.

A faculty member of a medical college, requesting anonymity, said that PMDC had been working on the finalisation of fees of medical colleges.

“I fear that a new issue will trigger in coming days as fees of some medical colleges may go beyond the reach of students. Priority is made on the basis of nearest approach and fee structure but currently parents are not aware of the fee structure. PMDC should have completed the process of finalising the fee of colleges earlier.

“Now I would suggest that the council should decrease the fees of all colleges so that parents would not suffer because of it,” he said.

PMDC President Prof Dr Rizwan Taj said paying double fee would be unfair with the students and their parents. “I will look into it and will try to address the issue,” he added.

PMDC amends admission policy

Meanwhile, PMDC has decided to amend the medical and dental colleges’ admission policy.

According to a document, available withDawn, public medical colleges will conclude admissions on December 31 every year and private medical college January 31. Public sector dental colleges will complete the admission process by February 15 and private dental colleges by February 28 every year.

Title : Admission seekers to private medical colleges in a Catch-22 situation
Author : Daily Dawn
Type : News
Role Performer : Corporate Author
Subject : Challenges faced by students in private medical college admissions in Pakistan
Publisher : Daily Dawn
Publication Place : Islamabad
Date : 2023-12-29
Language : English