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PMDC held accountable for heavy college fees

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LAHORE – A division bench of the Lahore High Court on Monday issued notice to the Pakistan Medical and Dental Council (PMDC) on a petition against charging of heavy fees by the private medical colleges from students.

The bench comprising Justice Amin-ud-Din and Justice Abid Aziz Sheikh sought reply from the Pakistan Medical and Dental Council till November 28. The bench also ordered submission of judgment and details whereby fees of Shaikh Zayed Medical College had been revised.

The bench allowed the petitioner to implead Pakistan Medical Association (PMA) as necessary party in this petition. The petitioner submitted that the private medical colleges had already enhanced the fee structure and the tuition fee was now so high that the middle class or the low middle class were unable to pay the same, otherwise, they had to sacrifice their assets in any form for payment of fee.

He submitted that private college of 100 seats was receiving Rs 300 million a year and making profit of not less than Rs 500 million a month. He also submitted that the PMDC had a staff of only 15 persons who were controlling more than 102 colleges across the country.

In Pakistan, if professors were short in number, how were they teaching? He said that Chief Justice of Lahore High Court – Umar Ata Bandial on October 7 had ordered Shaikh Zayed Medical and Dental College (SZMC) to charge annual fee from the students, according to the decision made by the board of governors in year 2009. He said that the board had decided that college would charge annually Rs 365000 instead of Rs 475,000 annually.

He submitted that prima facie state had failed to safeguard the interests and rights of medical students as the private colleges were continuously charging unjustified and baseless charges and expenses in the fee structure and resultantly the amount of fee amount increased drastically. He requested the court to order the private medical colleges not to omit what the law had directed them to do.

November 21, 2013

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