Islamabad : The regulator has announced the holding of the next nationwide test to enrol students in the medical and dental graduate programmes across the country in the middle of November on the same day.
However, the final date for the Medical and Dental Colleges’ admission test will be declared shortly, according to the Pakistan Medical Commission (PMC).
The announcement came following a meeting of the PMC’s supreme decision-making body, Council, here with all members, including vice-president Dr Khurshid Ahmad Nasim, Lt-General Nigar Johar, Dr Muhammad Fakhr-e-Alam, Jawad Amin Khan, Barrister Chaudhry Sultan Mansoor, M Shabbir Kasbati, Prof Naqibullah Achakzai and Prof Muhammad Zubair Khan in attendance.
According to the PMC, it has decided in consultation with the relevant government universities that the MDCAT will be held on November 13 or November 20 at the same time at the Bolan University of Medical and Health Sciences Quetta (for Balochistan), University of Health Sciences Lahore (for Punjab), Khyber Medical University Peshawar (for Khyber Pakhtunkhwa), Dow University of Health Sciences Karachi (for Sindh), Shaheed Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto Medical University Islamabad (for Islamabad Capital Territory, Azad Jammu and Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan).
With the minimum pass percentage of 55 for the MBBS course and 45 for the BDS programme, the admission criteria will be based on the MDCAT results (50 per cent), FSc exam results (40 per cent) and SSC exam results (10 per cent). There will be no change in the syllabus for the test as already announced by the PMC.
The Council relaxed the pass percentage to help more and more candidates get adjusted in medical and dental colleges as last year, almost 20,000 students went abroad for medical and dental courses causing a huge financial loss to the country.
It decided that the PMC would hold the MDCAT separately for the colleges affiliated with the National University of Medical Sciences to ensure that the schedule of the PMA Long Course isn’t disturbed and that only the students wanting to get admission to these colleges only could sit that test.
According to it, it will be a paper-based, manual test and the answer sheets returned by candidates will be uploaded on the websites of the exam-holding universities and PMC the same day.
The regulator also decided to extend the MDCAT registration for 10 days.
The participants also examined the NLE examination and unanimously decided to hold the NLE Step I in the last week of next month and NLE Step II in the last week of November for foreign graduates, while the NLE for local students will be conducted through their degree awarding universities under the umbrella of the PMC. The pass percentage of NLE 1 and 2 was reduced from 70 to 50 but it won’t be used retrospectively.
The Council decided that the basic postgraduate degrees of doctors would be registered with the PMC but foreign medical and dental postgraduate qualifications would be scrutinised before registration after due process.
The PMC president said the regulator had been declared eligible for accreditation by the World Federation for Medical Education.
"A task force has been formed to ensure all necessary actions are taken within a few months for the WFME accreditation to secure the future of our students and doctors," he said.
The Council decided to renew the doctors' registration certificates from two years to five years and declared that the medical practitioners aged 60 and above would renew their registration certificates after paying 50 per cent of the total fee. It also approved the opening of the PMC regional offices in Karachi, Muzaffarabad and Gilgit.
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