Contrary to the eligibility criteria set by the Pakistan Medical Commission (PMC), the Sindh government Friday warned the private medical and dental colleges in the province of action if they defy the provincial cabinet’s decision about lowering the minimum pass percentage for admissions to MBBS/BDS courses from 65% to 50%, The News reported.
In a meeting with heads of private medical and dental colleges, Health Minister Dr Azra Pechuho said, “Complaints are being received that private medical and dental colleges are not giving admissions to students who secured at least 50% marks in the MDCAT. These institutions are sacred of action by the PMC. We want to assure these institutions that following the Sindh cabinet’s decision, the PMC’s threats and warnings to private institutions are baseless.”
Private medical and dental colleges are perplexed as the Sindh government wants that students who have secured 50% marks in the MDCAT should be given admissions, whereas the PMC insists that no student who has secured less than 65% marks in the test should be granted admission to any medical and dental college.
During the meeting, which was attended by Minister for Universities and Boards Ismail Rahoo, heads of private medical and dental colleges, Parliamentary Secretary Health Qasim Soomro, Secretary Health Zulfiqar Shah, it was decided that Jinnah Sindh Medical University (JSMU) would be declared the focal university for dealing with admissions in MBBS and BDS in the private medical and dental colleges in Sindh.
Pechuho reiterated that if pressure from the PMC continued on private medical and dental colleges, Sindh would establish its own medical and dental council and admissions to private medical and dental colleges would be given under the policies and criteria set by the regulatory body of the province from the next academic session.
Following the meeting, the health department notified a five-member admission committee to be headed by Vice-Chancellor JSMU Prof Dr Shahid Rasool to oversee admissions in the MBBS and BDS disciplines in the private medical and dental colleges as per the decision of the Sindh cabinet of December 2, 2021, which said students securing at least 50% marks in the MDCAT would be eligible for admissions.
Other members of the admission committee are Prof Dr Gulshan Ali Memon from People’s University of Medical and Health Sciences, Nawabshah, Prof Dr Nazeer Ashraf Laghari Vice-Chancellor Isra University, Prof Dr Altamash from Altamash Medical College and Prof Dr Syed Razi Muhammad, president of the Pakistan Association of Private Medical Colleges, Sindh chapter.
An official of the Sindh government said the government wanted to protect the private medical and dental colleges from threats of the PMC, and it had assured them that government would support them legally in case of any action taken by the commission.