ISLAMABAD-Pakistan Medical and Dental Council on Wednesday warned private medical institutions of charging excessive fees from students, adding that strict actions will be initiated on violation of the rules set by the council in this respect.

This was stated by President PMDC Dr Tariq Bhutta in a press briefing held here on overall performance of the council.

Addressing the media, he said that the Council had received more than 150 complaints against colleges for charging excessive fees and had taken serious notice of the matter.

He said that all medical and dental colleges had been directed that any fee charged in excess to PMDC prescribed fee i.e. Rs950,000 for local students and $18,000 for foreign students should be refunded to the students.

Otherwise, strict action shall be initiated in respect of these violations if the fee is not returned, he said.

“Extra amount charged from students will be deducted from bank guarantees submitted by respective colleges,” he said.

He also added that proceedings against the violating colleges will be initiated after verifying compliance on complaints in June.

He also said that the Council had proceeded on a policy that students should not be penalised due to failings or violations of a college.

The President PMDC said about the pending cases with the PMDC that the pending cases of provisional licenses of 100 students of Federal Medical and Dental College and Avicenna Medical and Dental College of session 2013-14 which were long awaited were issued immediately which helped these 100 doctors to start their house jobs and careers.

He also said that 100 students of 2013-2014 and further sessions of Abbottabad International Medical College whose registration had been refused in the past were registered on immediate basis and those who had graduated and been granted degrees by the University are being granted their provisional licenses.

44 1st Year MBBS students of Hashmat Medical College which had been shut down were adjusted on vacant seats of private colleges to enable them to continue their education, he said.

Dr Tariq Bhutta also said that admissions for Academic Year 2019 were unduly delayed due to the first ever new central induction programme.

As a result, the Council in its first meeting fixed a final deadline of March 31st for all universities responsible for admissions by central induction to complete their admissions process.

He said that the Council took serious notice of the general delays caused in granting MBBS and BDS graduates their provisional licenses without which they are unable to start their house jobs. Moreover, this year, 34,702 applications for grant of licenses were received out of which 31478 have been disposed off on war footings and deadlines have been fixed for disposal of remaining applications as they are received within 14 days of receipt, he said.

Regarding evaluation and inspection standards for medical/dental colleges, he said that the Council reviewed existing inspection criteria of medical and dental colleges to not only bring them in line with the best international practices and standards but also to streamline the existing cumbersome process and also consider the imposition of a periodical review of standards of all colleges to ensure best quality education for our future doctors.

He said that the Council as a first step had advertised to fill vacancies of Register and Director Finance. Applicants have been shortlisted and interviews will be shortly conducted to appoint these two senior most posts, he said.

The Council took serious notice that PM&DC had not had an external auditor or internal auditor and had only relied on 3 audits undertaken by the AGPR in the last 10 years.

The Council has advertised to appoint external auditors and internal auditors and as per procedure the appointments will be done shortly.

The accounts of PM&DC shall be transparent and disclosed, he said.