Pakistan Medical and Dental Council (PMDC) and Pakistan Association of Private Medical and Dental Institutions (PAMI) have agreed on a centralized fee structure for medical colleges across Pakistan.
After CJ Saqib Nisar took suo moto notice of the exorbitant fees charged by medical colleges last December, he demanded to know why there was a lack of a uniform admission policy for medical students across Pakistan. He also told the PMDC registrar later on that there would be no unjustified fee hike for the students, given the astronomically high dues that students were already being charged for their education.
Under the new agreement signed by PMDC and PAMI, students will have to pay these rates as part of the new centralized induction policy:
- Rs 950,000 as annual fee,
- Rs 50,000 as admission fee (one-time),
- 5% tax
All medical colleges throughout Pakistan will be subject to these rules. In case any medical college violates these rules or takes donations, they would be separated from the association.
The new centralized induction policy will be implemented from October of this year, as the upcoming admissions season starts. The new policy will also apply to those who were admitted in the past and have yet to complete their BDS or MBBS.
Under the agreement, it has been decided that a single admission test will be taken in provinces, regions and in Islamabad. A merit list would be displayed under a week once results are announced.
The adoption of the centralized induction policy has a troublesome history. In 2010, the Supreme Court first took notice of the exorbitant fees charged by medical colleges. It decided, at the time, that fees would be Rs 550,000 and that it would be increased 7% with every passing year.
In 2013, as fees got jacked up to Rs 642,000, private medical colleges, which were supposed to provide 50% free beds in attached hospitals for patients as well as other additional facilities for students, would not do so.
Furthermore, these medical colleges started to ask for donations from students, a practice deemed illegal by PMDC. In 2016, PMDC decided to come up with a centralized induction policy to stop with the practice of donations once and for all.
However, many colleges decided to get a stay order against PMDC’s directives across the country.
In 2017, PMDC again tried to pass its new policy. It agreed that the annual fee would be Rs 800,000 now and that all medical colleges should provide the promised facilities to the students and curb the practice of donations.
The recent agreement between PMDC and PAMI may solve the issues faced by students. However, students will submit a wealth statement equivalent to five years’ tuition fee, income tax return of parent/guardian besides an insurance certificate to ensure the payment of fees for the remaining duration in case of demise of the parent/guardian.