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Private medical colleges increase their fee structure by 20 percent

Posted on: 14 February, 2012

Lahore: Private medical/dental colleges have increased their fee structure by 20 per cent with effect from the ongoing session on the basis of a notification by the Pakistan Medical and Dental Council (PMDC) with retrospective effect.

It is worth mentioning that the colleges have already completed admission process for the session 2011-2012. The latest increase in fee structure has brought the dues close to Rs 800,000 for securing admission to first year MBBS/BDS classes in private medical/dental colleges in the province.

It has been learnt through students and their parents that several private medical/dental institutions have started charging 20 per cent extra as balance fee from the ongoing session - a phenomenon seemed to be emerging in connivance with the Pakistan Medical and Dental Council, often dubbed as Private Medical and Dental Council, as it had "intentionally" left this room by avoiding to specifically mention the 20 per cent raise in fee structure with effect from the ongoing or upcoming session.

According to documents available, the management of a private medical college had asked the students to deposit Rs 100,000 balance fee as per notification of the PMDC.

It may be mentioned that, as per challan form, last date for submission of balance fee is February 15, 2012. Earlier, according to a student's receipt dated November 1st, 2011 available with The News the college has already received Rs 649,285 against First Year MBBS college fee for the session 2011-2012.

The private medical colleges cannot charge any raise in fee structure by the PMDC retrospectively. It is also learnt that other private medical colleges are also raising their fees retrospectively to the detriment of parents/students' financial interest, who condemned PMDC for leaving them completely on the mercy of private medical colleges.

The medical graduates blame the PMDC for this anomaly as tuition fees varied substantially in different private medical/dental colleges. The students/parents demand refund of balance fee of Rs 100,000 by withdrawing the decision to implement the raise with effect from the ongoing session.

Meanwhile, Young Doctors Association (YDA), Pakistan, has written to the private medical/dental colleges not to raise fees "unlawfully" by "misquoting" the letter from the Pakistan Medical and Dental Council (PMDC) in this regard. It has written letters under the subject "Increase in tuition fee" to principals of four out of 11 private medical/dental colleges in Lahore, asking them to refrain from increasing fees for the ongoing session 2011-12 unlawfully.

YDA General Secretary Dr Salman Kazmi said the YDA would write letters to remaining seven private institutions in a couple of days against their decision to increase fees unlawfully, vowing to challenge the PMDC's decision to increase fees in the court of law.

Prof Laeeq Hussain Siddiqui, principal of a medical college, confirmed that the private medical/dental colleges had been charging Rs 100,000 as balance fee with effect from the current session on the basis of PMDC's notification of 20 per cent increase in fee structure. To a question whether the fee raise had to be raised from the current or next session, he clarified that PMDC had not mentioned about any specific session for implementation of fee raise but forgot that his own institution had taken definite decision to implement the raise with retrospective effect.

Earlier, he said, in view of unchanged fee structure during the last five years, the members of the PMDC had gives a representation to the Council to review the fee structure with the current rate of inflation affecting the cost of faculty and equipment, paraphernalia and other infrastructure in this regard. To a question, he said all the private medical/dental colleges were charging balance fee of the ongoing session.

The News tried to contact PMDC Registrar Dr Ahmad Nadeem Akbar but he was not available for comments to clarify the perception that the PMDC was serving the vested elements' interests, which was evident from the fact that PMDC's executive committee largely comprised of more than 90 per cent of its members from the private sector with very little representation from the public sector.

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