PMDC delays fee revision despite pressure by private medical, dental colleges

Zubair Qureshi

Pakistan Medical & Dental Council (PMDC) has refused to agree to the proposal of fee increase given by the private medical and dental institutions and has rather adjourned the matter till next meeting. The latest development took place here on Monday during a meeting of the stakeholders and the officials of the PMDC. The private medical and dental institutions had requested to revise fee structure of private medical and dental colleges up to Rs130,000 per annum. The council after a detailed discussion and several disagreements decided that such a huge jump in the fee structure should not be done as the PMDC had to take care of the financial status of public and the students.
This argument was taken up by the council it was informed that in 2010 in response to suo motu order in which Rs550,000 medical & dental college fee was implemented with 7pc increase in fee every year. In 2013 the fee was raised to Rs642,000.
However despite the demand of the private institutes the council proposed that the fee should not be increased more than Rs800,000 with 7pc increase. The council again proposed the subcommittee to negotiate with the private medical dental colleges to discuss this and other matters. It was clearly decided that the demands of private medical and dental colleges shall be considered, subject to central induction and they would not charge any extra money in the name of donations. They will also ensure to provide social cooperate delivery for the patients, there shall be no aptitude test and they shall strictly follow the merit. The Council decided that if these terms shall be accepted by the private medical and dental colleges only then the demands of Private medical colleges shall be considered in the next meeting. The council decided that the matter might be placed before the next council meeting to finalize the demands.
The council session was attended by the following members including Prof Dr Shabir Lehri, Prof Dr.Abid Farooqi, Dr Sania Nishtar, Dr Asad Hafiz DG Health, Surgeon General, Dr Amir Hussain, Dr Muhammad Haroon, Dr Mussarat Hussain, Dr Taj Muhammad, Pro Dr Abdul Bari, Prof Dr Eice Muhamma, Dr Imran Naseer, Dr Mangal, Prof Dr Musadaiq Khan, Prof Dr Ijaz Hassan, Dr Farukh Ijaz, Maj Gen(R) Dr Khaliq Naveed, Dr Khyaalur Rehman, Dr Feroz Jahangir, provincial health secretaries, Dr Syed Azhar Ali Shah attended the session.
It may be mentioned here that the issue of increase in the fee structure of private medical colleges last Thursday led to a clash amongst parliamentarians (MPs) in the Senate Standing Committee of National Health Services (NHS), women MPs including the Minister condemned the use of un-parliamentary language by the chair. The meeting was divided on the issue of increasing the fee of private medical colleges. Federal Minister of National Health and Services, Saira Afzal Tarar, Senator Ayesha Raza Farooq and government officials advocated for increasing the fee in private medical colleges. On the other hand, Senators including Chairman Committee Sajjad Hussain Turi, Attique Sheikh, Ashok Kumar, Kulsoom Parveen were not convinced with the argument of the government side.
The argument between minister and the chairman led to verbal brawl and the chairman lost his temper. The minister condemned his behavior and threatened to boycott the standing committee meetings in future.

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