PMC likely to compromise medical education standard by ending central admission test policy

ISLAMABAD-The Pakistan Medical Commission (PMC) will likely compromise the medical education standard by ending the central admission test policy and introducing National Licensing Examination (NLE), said medical education watchdog body on Monday.
Secretary General (SG) Pakistan Medical Association (PMA) Dr. Qaiser Sajjad talking to The Nation said that PMC bill implementation will increase financial burden on parents and a middle income background person won’t be able to give his child medical education in the private medical college.
Dr. Qaiser Sajjad said, “medical education will not improve in fact will be compromised by ending the central admission policy and introducing NLE.”
He said that Pakistan Medical and Dental Council (PMDC) was regulating the college, however, PMC would not enjoy any authority of regulating the fee being charged by the private medical college.
“Colleges will be free to set fee according to their wish which will reduce the chance of students with competitive marks but having limited financial resources,” he said.
Dr. Qaiser Sajjad said that implementation of central admission policy by PMDC had resolved the long standing issue of admissions of the students and strengthened the merit system in private colleges.
“After test single, merit list was prepared and student was given admission according to his/her merit, however, now students have to get prospectus of different colleges and apply for admission which will cost them extra while admission will be also in ambiguity,” said Dr. Qaiser Sajjad.
Commenting about the NLE, SG PMA said that there will be no improvement with the decision while it reflects government had weak trust on its medical education.
“Instead of introducing the test, government should have focused on improving the education quality in the educational institutions,” he said.
 He said that the exit exam (NLE) will lead to open coaching classes of the exam and students will more focus on clearing the exam instead of improving studies at the educational institutions.
“We need to work on colleges instead of launching an exit exam,” he said.
Special Assistant to the Prime Minister (PM) Dr. Faisal Sultan had welcomed the passing of PMC bill saying that Pakistan Medical Commission (PMC) bill and its companion law (Pak Med Tribunal) will bring important enhancements in medical and dental education in line with modern global norms.
A representative of Private Association of Medical Institution (PAMI), on condition of anonymity, said that private medical education is a luxury education as all over the world it is being taught against hefty fee.
“In UK the fee is around 80000 British pound and in US, 70000 dollars per annum,” said PAMI representative.
He said that the medical education will improve when more investment will be done on the graduates and they will get more facilities against the fee paid.
“Agha Khan Medical College graduates are acknowledged worldwide because the institute spends handsome amount on doctors there,” he said.
The PAMI representative defending the ending of central admission policy said that college invests in taking and teaching students and universities should not have any authority on selection of the candidates. “Its mandate of the college only,” he said.
PAMI representative also said that NLE exam is being conducted worldwide and it is a standard examination and it is an appreciable addition.

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