LAHORE, Nov 13: Private medical and dental colleges in Punjab continue to admit students in clear violations of laid-down rules and regulations of the Pakistan Medical and Dental Council.

Sources said most of the private medical institutions, also including the Sharif Medical and Dental College (SMDC), Lahore Medical and Dental College and Multan Medical and Dental College, have not only admitted students but also charged fees from them for the session 2011-12.

According to the PMDC and UHS rules, private colleges can initiate admissions after Oct 31, the time when public colleges complete the process. This year, the Lahore High Court also restrained the UHS from displaying the list of selected students on Oct 30 on petitions challenging PMDC’s formula of admission.

The SMDC and other colleges, however, violated the admission deadline.

A letter, dated October 25, available with Dawn, by the SMDC congratulates an applicant (name being withheld at the applicant’s request), for being selected for admission.

“Congratulations, you stand selected for admission in MBBS course,” reads the letter.

The felicitations is however conditional and holds a price tag.

“Please note that your admission gets confirmed only on the deposit of college dues within three days of receipt of admission letter failing which your name will be struck off from the selection list.”

On Oct 18, another student secured her berth in the college by depositing Rs559,000 in the Habib Bank Limited, Sharif Trust, Jati Umra branch, Raiwind Road, Lahore.

The college should have admitted the student after Oct 31.

The Multan Medical and Dental College charged a female applicant Rs600,000, including Rs150,000 hostel charges, in the first week of October. The Lahore Medical and Dental College also admitted a student, son of a doctor, much before the Oct 31 deadline.SMDC Principal Prof Dr Nasib R Awan refused to offer any comment when contacted by phone. He asked this reporter to visit his office. He again refused to comment when this reporter met him in his office on Nov 10.

Lahore College Principal Prof Abdul Majeed Chaudhry admitted pre-date admissions but hastened to say the process was informal. He said the PMDC had allowed them to conduct admissions after Nov 11.

The violations are test for the Health Department and medical colleges’ regulatory bodies.

Health Secretary Mohammad Jehanzeb Khan said his department had issued instructions to the UHS to compile a report on violations in admission by private colleges. He said the report would be forwarded to the PMDC for action.

Punjab Parliamentary Secretary for Health Dr Saeed Elahi, a close associate of the Sharif family, told Dawn private medical colleges could not conduct admissions or take fees before Oct 31. He said he would write to the authorities concerned to take action against the violators. The UHS has time and again reminded private colleges to follow admission rules.

In a letter, dated October 28, the UHS directed private medical colleges to display their merit/selection list only after the display of selection list for public medical colleges by the UHS.

“Any violation of rules and regulations shall make the institution liable for action under relevant clauses of UHS (Amendment) Act 2009 and PMDC Ordinance, 1962”.

It also informed them about restrictions on admissions by the Lahore High Court.

Earlier, in another letter on April 21, the UHS intimated private colleges to admit students after Oct 31. The letter cited several court verdicts and PMDC’s ‘condition for admission to MBBS/BDS.

Since the matter was sensitive, the UHS issued the same instructions to private medical institutions on Sept 22.

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