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October 27, 2014

Students, parents accuse private medical colleges in Hazara of exploitation

October 27, 2014

ABBOTTABAD: Students and their parents have accused the private medical colleges in Hazara of adopting illegal ways in admission of candidates who have passed the entry tests.
Many students, including those who have qualified the entry test to be eligible for admission in the medical colleges, have complained about high fees being demanded by these institutions. However, the managements of the private medical colleges have been denying the charge.
A female student, who passed the prerequisite entry test for admission to a privately owned medical college in Abbottabad, told this correspondent that although being on the merit list she was asked by the officials of the concerned college to give Rs2 million in the form of donation to the college over and above the tuition and boarding and lodging fee.
When approached, the management of the college denied the claim.“My daughter’s name is in the merit list, even though it is lower down the order, but I am being asked to deposit Rs2 million for admission. It is stated to be one-time fee and is in addition to the regular tuition fee,” complained a concerned father who called this scribe from Saudi Arabia by phone.
He said he wanted his daughter to receive medical education in his hometown Abbottabad but has to cope with such black-mailing tactics. “This is beyond my reach. My daughter is distraught and is thinking to switch over to engineering by taking the F Sc pre-engineering examination next year.
According to the Pakistan Medical and Dentil Council (PMDC), the statuary body controlling medical education, the private medical colleges are restricted to enroll 15 percent students on seats reserved for foreign students who are either foreigners or have dual nationality.
Dr Shahina Jamil Khan, executive director of Frontier Medical College Abbottabad, told The News that her college doesn’t demand the so-called donations from the students. “The students being admitted to Frontier Medical

College on the foreign seats are charged US dollars 12,000 per annum which is far less than the fee structure of many other privately owned medical colleges in Pakistan,” she maintained.
Dr Asad Jamil Khan, managing director of the Frontier Medical College, told The News that, “When we admit foreign students to our college, it means we are bringing in the much needed foreign exchange to Pakistan. We have foreign students from USA, Canada, UK and many other countries and they have to pay less in terms of fee and receive medical education of higher standard in Pakistan.”
Dr Ghazanfar Ali, managing director of Abbottabad International Medical College, tended to admit the fact that ‘donations’ are demanded from students seeking admission in some medical colleges. “The ‘donation phenomenon’ exists, but it is duty and job of the Pakistan Medical and Dental Council to check such practices. “If we are supposed to enroll 100 students every year, it is our obligation to reserve 15 percent quota for overseas students,” he added.
Despite many attempts, Dr Muhammad Azhar Jadoon, managing director of the Women Medical College Abbottabad and Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf MNA, was not available for comments. However, an official of his college categorically said that they charged the fee according to the rules and regulations set by the PMDC.
Dr Shahina Jamil and Dr Ghazanfar Ali claimed that their medical colleges strictly adhered to the rules set by PMDC and did not charge tuition fees in excess of PMDC’s prescribed charter.Dr Ghazanfar Ali even claimed that his institution had a policy to give free education to the needy and poor students. “There are many students enrolled in our college who are getting 50 percent discount on tuition fee and are awarded scholarships. Our college encourages brilliant students who qualify the government’s prescribed entry test,” he added.An official of the PMDC, on condition of anonymity, told this scribe that no privately owned medical college could charge more than Rs750,000 tuition fee per annum.

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