LAHORE - More private colleges are going to be opened in the province in near future despite the fact that the medical colleges already operating in the Punjab are running without fulfilling the criteria set by the Pakistan Medical & Dental Council (PMDC), sources in the Health Department confided to The Nation on Friday. They said that at present about 26 private medical colleges were operating in the province out of which eight to nine were in Lahore, getting Rs 35-45 lacs from each student whereas public medical colleges were charging less than Rs one lac fee from the students per head for the whole year. The sources claimed that the said colleges had not hired complete teaching staff as per required by the PMDC which says that a demonstrator is required for every 25 students, an assistant professor for 50 students, an associate professor for 100 students and a professor to teach 150 to 200 students. Most of these colleges had not recruited senior staff rather they hired the services of the teaching staff as visiting professors while one professor attended two to three private colleges the same day to taught students against heavy remunerations, the sources disclosed. These colleges paid heavy salaries to the teachers as management of these colleges collected heavy fees from the students resulting shortage of the senior staff in public institutions, a senior officer of Health department said seeking anonymity. He said that many senior teachers had sought long leave from the public institutions and were engaged in teaching at private institutions. As per details a demonstrator in private colleges was drawing Rs 70,000 per month salary while the same demonstrator who served in public medical college could earn only Rs 19,000 per month. Assistant professor is getting Rs 150,000 in private colleges while in public institute he gets only Rs 25,000. The Punjab Health Department and PMDC did not take notice of the situation as the Health Department said that the matter was not related to it while the PMDC had poor monitoring system. Sources in the Health Department said that most of the private medical colleges were not offering house job to their graduates, only few graduates who were offered house jobs were less paid like government offered Rs 18,000 to the house officer while private colleges and hospitals offered only Rs 12,000. At present 800 house officers were working without salaries in the province, sources claimed and added that most of the heads of the public medical institutions were engaged in accommodating graduates of the private medical colleges as these institution heads saw their future in private medical institutions after retirement. A senior doctor seeking anonymity said that to discourage the opening of more private colleges, the government should start evening shifts in the public medical colleges to accommodate maximum number of medical students. There should be complete ban on opening of new medical college or their management should be instructed to define their fee structure that should not exceed from maximum Rs 20,000 to 25,000 each year.