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Private medical colleges: LHC dismisses petition against PMC, MDCAT regulations

LAHORE: The Lahore High Court (LHC) here Thursday dismissed the petitions of the private medical & dental colleges against the regulations of Pakistan Medical Commission (PMC) and the Medical & Dental College Admission Test (MDCAT).

The court also dismissed the pleas of the private colleges against the regulations of the fee structure and observed, “Prima-facie it appears, the petitioners want to get liberty of unchecked authority regarding fixation of fee as per their own wishes, which under the law is not permissible.”

The court said, argument of petitioners counsel that section 18 (3) of Act exempts the private medical colleges from MDCAT is misconceived as it says, “Admissions in the medical colleges shall be regulated by the policy of provincial governments strictly on merit”, the court added.

The court pointed out that the said section further says, “If any private medical college wants to lay down any additional criteria for admission, it can take an entry test for the admission in its college in addition to MDCAT”.

The court further noted that section 18 (1) of Act provides MDCAT as mandatory requirement for all students seeking admission to medical or dental under graduate program and the language of sub section 1 of 18 of Act clearly shows that the law does not make any bifurcation among the students of public or private college, the court added.

The petitioners contended that the regulations made by the ministry of national health sciences were not in consonance with sections 3(1) and 3(4) of the Pakistan Medical Commission Act 2020.

The private colleges argued that the decision with respect to conduct of the MDCAT were ultra-vires to the provisions of the Act. They argued that the regulations were discriminatory in nature as it exempted Agha Khan University and National University of Medical Sciences (NUMS) as well as its affiliated colleges from the operation of PMC amended regulations.

The law officer representing the government opposed the petitions and said the colleges had no locus standi to challenge the regulations.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021

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