unrecognised medical colleges barred from offering admissions

LAHORE – A two-member bench of the Supreme Court on Tuesday ordered unrecognised private medical colleges across the country to immediately stop process of admissions.

The bench observed that if any admission was made, then the chief executive of the institution would be held responsible for violating the court orders.

The bench also summoned owners of 13 medical and dental colleges of Lahore in person for December 27, and asked them to submit affidavit mentioning that criteria laid down by the Pakistan Medical and Dental Council (PMDC) was fulfilled. The court further asked owners to provide details of their bank accounts and fee charged from students in the present session.

The court directed the owners to bring their prospectus and submit details regarding the number of seats, filled on merit and quota basis, besides charges collected from students other than fee fixed by the PMDC.

The bench, headed by Chief Justice Mian Saqib Nisar, passed the orders while hearing a suo moto notice regarding exorbitant fees charged by private medical colleges and lack of a uniform admission policy, at the Supreme Court Lahore Registry.

As the proceedings began, PMDC Registrar Dr Wasim Hassan and Advocate General Punjab Shakeel-ur-Rehman Khan appeared before the bench.

In response to a court query, the PMDC Registrar stated that 66 colleges were imparting medical education in private sector across the country. He said that under the 2012 regulations, these colleges were given affiliation and allowed to admit students.

To another court query regarding action on complaints against substandard colleges, the PMDC Registrar submitted that action was taken but the high court had issued a stay order.

At this, the bench summoned Registrar Lahore High Court immediately and sought the list of pending cases involving the PMDC.

The chief justice observed that it was a matter of healthcare and no leniency would be allowed in this regard. He further remarked that some colleges were set up in inadequate building premises and lacked necessary facilities. “Even though we are producing doctors, we don’t know whether our tool is correct,” he added.

He said that even though his recent visit to Mayo Hospital, Lahore was not taken positively, the judiciary would keep on working on the issues that pertain to healthcare of masses, especially children.

The CJP further observed that public interest cases would be heard even on Saturday and Sunday and it was not being done for personal projection.

Young Doctors Association Secretary General Salman Kazmi apprised the court that exorbitant fees were being charged by private medical colleges besides collecting donations for the admission. He said that the doors of medical education had been closed on the poor and intelligent students.

At this, the chief justice observed that Punjab clean water case proceedings would also be held along with this case and instructed the relevant authorities to present proper record of both cases.

The bench also summoned PMDC President Prof Dr Shabbir Ahmad Lehri for December 27 besides issuing notices to Pakistan Association of Private Medical and Dental Colleges.

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