Sindh Starts Admissions in Medical and Dental Colleges on Reduced MDCAT Merit

Sindh’s health department has ordered Shaheed Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto (SMBB) Medical University, Larkana, to start the admission process in all public and private medical and dental institutions in the province for the academic year 2021-22 by inviting applications from candidates who have secured more than 50% marks in MDCAT 2021.

The development comes a week after the Sindh cabinet unilaterally decided to reduce the minimum passing criteria for MDCAT 2021 from 65% to 50% as the Pakistan Medical Commission (PMC) continuously ignored all requests from the provincial government for slashing the passing percentage for MDCAT 2021 to facilitate maximum students.

Speaking in this regard, a senior official at Sindh’s health department, who asked not to be named, disclosed that the department has taken this decision to ensure the enrollment of maximum students possessing the domicile of Sindh in public and private medical and dental colleges in the province, adding that students from other provinces would have filled the vacant seats in these institutions otherwise.

On the other hand, the PMC has categorically rejected the decision of Sindh’s health department, warning students having less than 65% marks in MDCAT 2021 against seeking admission in medical and dental institutes in Sindh.

Commenting on the development, President PMC, Dr. Arshad Taqi, said that PMC will not recognize the registration of the students who will be enrolled by the SMBB Medical University against the criteria already set by the PMC.

Dr. Arshad added that the PMC Act 2020 and judgment of the Supreme Court allow the PMC to set the mandatory minimum criteria for admissions into medical and dental institutions all over the country each year and no entity can change the criteria.

Meanwhile, the Sindh government is also considering replacing PMC by establishing Sindh Medical Commission (SMC) through legislation in the provincial assembly.

Sindh’s health minister, Dr. Azra Fazal Pechuho, had hinted at the formation of SMC to regulate admissions in medical and dental institutions across the province during a press conference last week.