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‘Non-existent’ medical college in admission policy yet again

Updated September 05, 2013

LAHORE, Sept 4: The Punjab government has included another ‘non-existent’ medical college (100 seats) in the admission policy for the medical and dental colleges for the session 2013-14, jeopardising the future of the students preparing to contest for admissions to the institute.

Mentioned as Government PESSI (Punjab Employees Social Security Institutions) Medical College Faisalabad, the institute is neither recognised by the Pakistan Medical and Dental Council nor affiliated with the University of Health Sciences, Lahore, reveal documents.

Even the recruitment process of the faculty, management and other primary staff besides equipment and construction of the building was yet to be processed to prove its ‘existence’.

“It is the third blunder on part of the authorities concerned which earlier had made admissions to two newly-established ‘unrecognised’ medical colleges in Punjab,” a senior official told Dawn.

He said the Dental Section Punjab Medical College (DSPMC), Faisalabad was established in January 2009 and since then it had not been recognised by the PMDC. The first batch of the DSPMC passed out this year but the students could not get paid house jobs in any institute of Punjab as the PMDC rejected their applications for declaring them “registered practitioners”.

These students have launched protests many times for not getting house jobs but their efforts proved futile. The five other batches (250 students) are currently attending classes in the institute.

Established in 2009, the DG Khan Medical College was not recognised by the PMDC. The fourth batch of the students is attending classes in the institute which is yet to be recognised.

These two medical colleges also are yet to be included in the directory of recognised medical and dental institutions of the World Health Organizations.

Health Secretary Hassan Iqbal told Dawn that the health department had asked the chief minister to drop the PESSI Medical College from the admission policy. He said the department knew that the institute lacked the faculty and other basic requirements.

“We have already conveyed to the chief minister that if the UHS made admissions of 100 students to the said medical college which has no building and faculty, it will create huge problems,” Mr Iqbal said.

Despite this the UHS has been directed to follow the Punjab government’s admission policy in letter and spirit. Being an examining body, the UHS is liable to conduct entrance test and admissions to all the medical colleges according to the admission policy the Punjab government issues every year.

“Pursuant to the approval of the competent authority, the admission policy for the medical and dental colleges of Punjab, including the newly-established PESSI Medical College for the session 2013-14, has been notified,” a notification of the health department issued on July 31 said. A copy of the notification is available with Dawn.

The notification carries criteria for and pattern of the entrance test, weightage of the marks, self-scoring system and other relevant information for the students contesting in the examinations for admissions to the medical colleges including PESSI Medical College, Faisalabad.

Initially, 100 seats for the Government PESSI Medical College have been proposed. These have not been mentioned in the breakup of the total MBBS/BDS seats for the session 2013-14 listed in the admission policy, which creates confusion.

According to the admission policy the total number of MBBS seats in the medical institutions in Punjab is 3,405 for 2013-14 after addition of 100 seats of Shaikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al-Nahyan Medical and Dental College (SKZMDC), Lahore.

The total number of BDS seats in the dental institutions of Punjab will be 216 in the coming session.