Pakistan Medical Association (PMA) has claimed that the federal government’s decision to abolish the central admission testing policy and replace it with the National Licensing Examination (NLE) under the Pakistan Medical Commission (PMC) Act 2020 passed last week would compromise the standards of medical education in Pakistan.
Moreover, PMC has also replaced Pakistan Medical and Dental Council (PMDC) as the apex medical and dental colleges regulating body under the PMC Act 2020.While addressing a press briefing, General Secretary PMA, Dr. Qaiser Sajjad, said that PMC Act 2020 would do little to improve the medical education standards in the country, rather, it would result in the complete opposite.
He added that PMDC had the authority to regulate the fee of all private medical and dental colleges. However, PMC Act 2020 hasn’t conferred any authority on the PMC to regulate the fee of private medical and dental institutes.
Private institutions are now free to set the fee at their will, Sajjad said.
PMC Act 2020 will also increase the financial strain on middle-income parents as they would be unable to afford the fee of the private institutions.
Sajjad lamented that chances of talented students hailing from middle-income backgrounds bearing high marks getting admitted to top institutions have been reduced significantly after the passage of the PMC Act 2020.He further said that PMDC’s central admission policy had strengthened the merit system in private institutions.
Under the central admission policy, candidates were enrolled based on their merit only after a single test. Now, however, they have to acquire the prospectuses of all the medical colleges they wish to get admitted to and apply and appear for the entry tests separately, further increasing the financial burden on students.
Instead of doing away with the PMDC’s central admission testing policy, the federal government should have strengthened it, Sajjad concluded.