LAHORE - As many as 56,272 candidates appeared in medical and dental colleges’ entrance test conducted by the University of Health Sciences simultaneously in 13 cities of the province yesterday, amid elaborate security arrangements.

Last year, 46,559 candidates appeared in the test.

There are 3405 MBBS seats in 17 public sector medical colleges and 216 BDS seats in three public dental colleges of the Punjab. Besides, there are around 3500 MBBS and 800 BDS seats in 27 private sector medical colleges and 12 dental colleges of the province respectively.

The test, started at 9am, went of peacefully at 27 centres set up in Lahore, Sargodha, Sahiwal, Gujrat, Gujranwala Faisalabad, Bahawalpur, Multan, DG Khan, Rahim Yar Khan, Rawalpindi, Sialkot and Hasan Abdal.

The candidates, 36,542 female and 19,730 male, started reaching their centres as early as 6 o’clock in the morning. More than 5000 invigilators and supervisory staff performed duties at these centres.

A large number of police personnel were deployed at the centres to prevent any disruption of the examination. Ambulances and fire brigades were also made available at the centres to counter any untoward incident. Besides that, close circuit TV (CCTV) cameras, mobile phone jammers and walk-through gates were also installed at all the centres.

Proper arrangements were made for the disabled students, parking and waiting area facilities for the parents of the candidates. Back-up power generators were also provided at some of the centres.

The candidates and parents expressed satisfaction on the arrangements made by UHS and the provincial government. Parents were seen reciting Holy Quran for the success of their children. No unpleasant incident was reported during the course of the test.

In Lahore, Primary and Secondary Healthcare Secretary Ali Jan Khan, LG&CD Secretary Aslam Kamboh, MPDD Secretary Nadeem Irshad Kiyani, Higher Education Secretary Capt (r) Nasim Nawaz, Women Development Secretary Bushra Aman, Punjab Examination Commission CEO Nasir Iqbal Malik, Literacy Secretary Dr Naveed Ahmad Ch, Industries DG Khalid Saleem, DCO Muhammad Usman and other senior officials monitored the arrangements.

A total of 11155 female and 5635 male candidates appeared in the test at the BISE examination halls at Lawrence Road, Punjab University examination halls at Wahdat Road, Government Comprehensive Girls High School, Government Central Model School Lower Mall, Govt Postgraduate College for Women Samanabad, University of Education Township and Lahore College for Women University, Jail Road.

UHS Vice Chancellor Prof Muhammad Aslam and Specialized Healthcare Secretary visited various centres and monitored the arrangements.

In Rawalpindi, 7204 candidates appeared in the test. The number of candidates in Multan was 8097; Faisalabad, 5742; Gujranwala, 3188; Bahawalpur, 2649; Sargodha, 2246; Sahiwal, 2911; Gujrat, 1546; DG Khan, 1948; Rahim Yar Khan, 1813; Hasan Abdal, 410; and in Sialkot, 1728 candidates appeared in the test.

Talking to the media, the VC said that medicine and dentistry attract the most brilliant students every year and these demand a system that is duly probing, robust and fair. “UHS has tried to make the process structured and transparent which is regularly reviewed to ensure that only suitable and capable candidates are admitted,” he said, adding that the university believed that all candidates should have an equal opportunity to show their suitability for the MBBS and BDS programmes.

Prof Aslam informed around 10,000 more candidates appeared in the entrance test as compared to last year. This showed that the interest of candidates was increasing in medicine and dentistry.

He further said that entry to the medical and dental profession is based on the principles of merit, justice, equity and transparency.

Meanwhile, the UHS uploaded the answer keys to the question papers of different colour codes on its website. With the help of these keys, candidates can calculate their scores themselves. The official result will be announced within 10 days.

In the next stage, those candidates who will score 82 percent or above aggregate marks in accordance with the formula of Pakistan Medical and Dental Council will be eligible to apply on open merit basis and will opt for the colleges of their choice by submitting admission forms from October 03 to October 15. These forms, along with the prospectus, will be available free of cost at UHS Lahore, Nishter Medical College Multan and Rawalpindi Medical College Rawalpindi, during the said dates.

The first selection list for medical/dental colleges will be displayed on October 28.