Amidst the chaos that ensued in the senate, when a deadlock was created over FATF related bills in the senate, the Pakistan Medical Commission (PMC) bill of 2020 was passed—abolishing the Pakistan Medical and Dental Council (PMDC) as a result. It was accepted on the promise of granting institutions increased autonomy to make decisions without the limitations imposed by the PMDC. However, many see this not only as a threat to the quality of students produced but also claim that without an oversight body that standardised fee structure, going to medical school becomes unattainable by many.

For years, the PMDC was criticised for shifting focus away from granting admissions to worthy applicants and towards maximising the numerical value of students. Similarly, the ease with which the council closed down colleges without justifiable reasons incurred major losses upon investors as well. To correct a faulty system, the PMC bill enables colleges to establish their own admission policies and fee structure. While this is a step forward, there are obvious points of contention.

Abandoning the centralised admission policy, according to which students were given admissions based on merit, would entail that profitable corporate interests would take precedence over the quality of education given to students and, consequently, their level of expertise as professionals. This is exemplified by the fact that colleges will be also able to determine a fee structure that escapes the bounds of governmental regulation. It is not long before either such a profession becomes out of reach for the masses due to unaffordability or institutions function without proper equipment and instruction—relying primarily on their affiliations. Thus, the inefficiencies are not resolved but have taken on different forms. Even if five yearly inspections are carried out by the government, as is being promised, not much stands to be affected except the worsening prospects of future students.

Before this bill becomes an act, the government needs to acknowledge opposition towards the establishment of the PMC and correct any notion of exploitation or corporate greed.