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Minister, PMDC vow to get increase in private medical colleges fees reversed

Health Minister Dr Nadeem Jan and President Pakistan Medical and Dental Council (PMDC) Prof Dr Rizwan Taj have vowed to take notice of the unprecedented increase in fees of private medical and dental colleges.

They have claimed that the fee increase will be reversed through a committee and it will be made sure that the students belong to middle and lower middle class would get admission in colleges.

However, stakeholders believe that the committee, which has representation of colleges, may not be able to decrease the fee and demanded to establish a powerfulcommittee having no conflict of interest. Moreover they have demanded to issue notification directing colleges to receive fees equal to last year`s fee for new batches, till final decision.

On the other hand representative body of the medical fraternity Pakistan Medical Association (PMA), while showing concerns, have urged the government to implement policies that promote affordable medical education.

`The fee schedules issued by the private medical and dental colleges are shocking for me. I am the one who strongly rejected the proposal of putting maximum cap of Rs1.9 million annual fee for MBBS because I believed that it was too much for the students. I had sug-gested the PMDC to decrease the fee but colleges have further increased the fee which is totally unacceptable for me,` caretaker health minister Dr Nadeem Jan said while talking to Dawn.

While replying to a question, he said that although medical and dental colleges have uploaded fee schedules but there was ample time to get the recommendations from the committee for capping the fee and implementing it.

`Even if colleges receive the fee from students, health ministry and PMDC are empowered to direct the colleges to return the excessive amount to the students,` Dr Jan said.

President PMDC Dr Rizwan Taj, while talking to Dawn, said that adecision has been made to inspect all the colleges and fix their fees after grading them on the basis of quality of education, faculty and facilities.

`Colleges have not started collecting fee yet and we are hopeful that the process of inspection and grading will be completed well before process of fee collection starts. A committee has been established and has been working on it, he said.

However, Dr Taj said that the fee of Aga Khan University (AKU) will be higher as no medical college of Pakistan could be compared with the quality of AKU.

A faculty member, whishing not to be quoted, said that it was unfortunate that the colleges haveincreased fees upto 40pc but they did not bother to increase the salaries of their staff.

Meanwhile PMA has expressed grave concern over the unprecedented increase in fees of medical colleges in the country.

PMA Secretary General Dr Abdul Ghafoor Shoro said in a statement: `The PMA believes that the increasing cost of medical education will have adverse effects on the healthcare system in the long run. With higher tuition fees, only those from affluent backgrounds will be able to pursue a career in medicine, resulting in a lack of diversity and representation among the medical professionals.

This could exacerbate existing healthcare disparities, particularlyin underserved areas and marginalised communities. The financial constraints may also deter medical graduates from pursuing specialties that are essential for the country`s healthcare needs, such as primary care and rural medicine.

He said PMA also urges the government to closely monitor and regulate tuition fee increases, as well as to implement policies that promote affordable medical education.

`Adequate funding for healthcare and education should be prioritised to ensure a sustainable and inclusive healthcare system for the benefit of all Pakistanis,` he said.

The fees of private medical and dentalcollegeshave beenincreased by up to Rs 800,000.

Title : Minister, PMDC vow to get increase in private medical colleges fees reversed
Author : Daily Dawn
Type : News
Role Performer : Corporate author
Subject : PMDC to reverse Private medical & Dental Colleges Fees
Publisher : Daily Dawn
Publication Place : Islamabad
Date : 2023-12-08
Language : English