LAHORE, Sept 4: The private medical colleges have joined hands against the government’s decision to make it mandatory for the candidates to take entrance test being conducted by the University of Health Sciences for admission to all public and private medical and dental institutions in Punjab.

A meeting of representatives of the private medical and dental colleges in the province was held here in this connection at the FMH College of Medicine and Dentistry on Thursday.

The participants strongly recommended that the UHS entrance test should be applicable only to the public sector institutions in the province while the private ones should be allowed to continue with their admission process including entrance test as per guidelines of the Pakistan Medical and Dental Council (PMDC).

“The private medical and dental colleges of the province should have due representation in the bodies at all levels of policy making with regard to medical education and health service delivery system,” said a representative.

The provincial government’s decision to hold entrance test under the UHS is aimed at regulating the affairs of private medical and dental colleges.

The candidates with 65 per cent marks in the FSc are eligible for the entrance test 2008-09. Earlier, the private medical colleges used to offer admission to the candidates having even less than 60 per cent marks.

A UHS spokesman told Dawn that the varsity was bound to implement the chief minister’s directive to hold the entrance test for admission to all public as well as private medical and dental colleges in Punjab.

There are eight private medical and dental colleges in Punjab: Lahore Medical and Dental College, Lahore, FMH College of Medicine and Dentistry, Lahore, Lahore University College of Medicine and Dentistry, Independent Medical College Faisalabad, Faisalabad Medical College, Faisalabad, CMH Medical College, Lahore, Wah Medical College, Wah Cantt and Margalla Institute of Health Sciences, Rawalpindi.

All of them are recognised by the PMDC and affiliated with the UHS. “If these institutions are affiliated with the UHS then they should have no objection on the entrance test conducted by the varsity,” the UHS spokesman maintained.

On the other hand, the Punjab government has decided to appoint provincial secretaries in all 12 centres proposed for the entrance test in the province as superintendents. On the two centers in Lahore, health and home secretaries will be the superintendents.

The UHS has received over 15,000 applications for the test against 2,156 MBBS and 157 BDS seats in all public medical and dental institutions in the province.

Updated Sep 05, 2008 12:00am

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