News Analysis |
Pakistan Medical and Dental Council (PMDC) on Monday agreed to allow the private medical colleges to increase the fee for students on certain conditions.
Colleges are allowed to increase not more than Rs800,000 if they ensure admissions are given on merit, improve infrastructure, provide free medical education to 5pc students and submit an affidavit that they will follow the agreement.
Administrations, on the other hand, have said that keeping in view the annual inflation index, the fee should be allowed to increase from Rs. 642,000 to Rs1.3 million.
PMDC ,President Shabir lehri has informed that they aim to hire an audit firm to calculate the expenses colleges actually incur. According to him the proposed limit by the PMDC falls in line with the Suo Moto’s decision of Apex Court which allowed an increment of 7% each year. The demand of fee hike is hence under review by the Council.
Expensive doctors in making
The demand of fee hike has come as a serious blow to the hopes of the future aspirants who are wishing to join the medical field in Pakistan.
What it largely speaks about is the irregularities that are present in the form of the capitalists actors, manipulating the whole system from top of the medical sectors to beef up the profitability of their businesses at the cost of the already inefficient medical and health industry in Pakistan.
Pakistan, which is already suffering from an inadequate number of doctors for its total population, the fee hike will restrict many aspirants from studying medicine and becoming doctors. The fee hike operates as a system to filter out the genuinely deserving candidates as a residue each year, while the affluent social strata become a dignified factor to facilitate the approach to the supreme medical education.
With expensive doctors in-making they tend to charge high in their professional lives to recover their for educational investment, leaving these refined doctors to be ultimately only be accessed by the affluent strata.
The expensive medical industry has enhanced the business prospects for the scores of fake doctors who allure people seeking treatments resulting in further complications for patients and even deaths.
What do the statistics say?
The restricted number of seats available in public medical colleges results in fierce competitions to secure seats in entrance tests.
Around 65,155 candidates appeared in Medical and Dental Colleges’ Admission Test (MDCAT) for admission against 5,995 MBBS and 771 BDS seats in public and private colleges of Punjab. Last year, 56,272 candidates appeared in the test.
In the next stage, those candidates who will score 84 percent or above aggregate marks in accordance with the formula of Pakistan Medical and Dental Council (PMDC) will be eligible to apply on open merit basis and will opt for the colleges of their choice by submitting admission.
There are 3,405 MBBS seats in 17 public sector medical colleges and 216 BDS seats in three public dental colleges of the Punjab. Besides, there are 2,590 MBBS and 555 BDS seats in 21 private sector medical colleges and nine dental colleges affiliated with UHS. Where MDCAT results are extremely important, they carry 50 percent weightage in merit as per the formula of PMDC.
In Punjab, as many as 619 basic health units, are without doctors. With the burden on healthcare service delivery and the doctor-to-patient ratio being 1 doctor for 1,127 patients.
Though council claims to be actively working for protecting the rights of the students, there is a dire need of extensive public investment to expand the medical universities under the banner of public institutions to revamp the ailing structure.