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December 27, 2017

SC stops unregistered medical colleges from admissions

Top Story

December 27, 2017

LAHORE: Chief Justice Saqib Nisar on Tuesday came hard on mushroom growth of private medical colleges as well as their exorbitant fee structure and ordered all the unregistered colleges throughout the country to discontinue the admission process at once.

The court sought personal appearance of the Pakistan Medical & Dental Council (PMDC) president, as a two-member bench led by the chief justice conducted hearing of a suo motu case about unjustified fee structure of private medical and dental colleges at the Lahore Registry. Justice Ijazul Ahsan is the other member on the bench.

During the proceedings, the chief justice seemed annoyed over decline in standard of medical profession and health facilities. He threw slew of questions at the attorney general about the government’s efforts to improve the health sector.

He asked the Punjab advocate general to specify any public hospital set up in the province to cater the growing cancer patients and remarked that that he was unable to remember that the government had established any big health facility in Punjab during the last five years except the Services Hospital of Lahore, which was constructed in 1954. The chief justice was looking gloomy over exorbitant fee structure of medical colleges and showed serious concern. Addressing the reader of his court, he said, “Just forget, your son cannot become a doctor.” He pledged to decide the case within two or three months by holding day-to-day hearings and ordered all 14 private medical and dental colleges in Lahore to furnish details of their bank accounts and amount of fee they are collecting for the present session from the students. He also summoned CEOs of colleges along with their affidavits about fulfilling the criteria set by the PMDC.

Punjab Advocate General Shakilur Rehman Khan, PMDC Registrar Waseem Hassan Hashmi, Lahore High Court Registrar Khurshid Anwar Rizvi and Pakistan Bar Council Vice Chairman Ahsan Bhoon were present on the court’s call.

The colleges were also asked to furnish their prospectus, number of seats available and how many of them had been filled on merit and quota basis as well as the charges collected from the students besides fee fixed by the PMDC.

The chief justice stopped all unauthorised private medical colleges from conducting admission and said the chief executive of administration/ heads of these colleges would be held direct responsible, if the court order was violated.

He said an inquiry shall be conducted if any attempt was made to do admission in back dates. The bench issued notice to Pakistan Association of Private Medical & Dental Institutions (PAMI) and sought personal appearance of PMDC President Prof Dr Shabbir Ahmad Lehri.

It also ordered the LHC registrar to place details of all cases pending before the court pertaining to the PMDC and medical colleges. The court will resume hearing today (Wednesday).

During the course of hearing, it also came to fore that a bullet proof car had been purchased for the CEO of Punjab Saaf Pani Company at the expense of national exchequer. The chief justice expressed concern over the purchase of car and asked the AGP, “Why the head of a public company needs a bullet proof vehicle, directing him to submit record of the car. Earlier, the law officer informed the court the bullet proof car was bought for the use of foreign consultants working with the company.

Chief Justice Nisar also dismissed the criticism being made on his recent visit to a public hospital in Lahore and remarked that the court would not compromise at any coast on provisions of basic rights of the citizens including clean water, education and health.  A suo motu case about provision of clean drinking water is already fixed before the Supreme Court for December 28.

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