KARACHI, April 13,2022 – Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif has asked the Sindh chief minister to send him the proposal and request in writing about conducting MDCAT test on provincial level. He announced it during his Karachi visit.
Sindh Chief Minister told the prime minister that since the inception of Pakistan, admission in medical and dental universities and colleges was the prerogative of the respective province. In 1998, an entry test system was introduced, and it was carried out by each institute separately for the admission in public and private medical and dental universities and colleges.
In 2018, it was decided to conduct one entry test at provincial level for the admission in Public and Private Medical and Dental Universities and Colleges while Aga Khan Medical University and Armed Forces Medical Colleges were exempted.
On 22nd September 2020 replacing PMDC Ordinance 1962, National Assembly of Pakistan passed Pakistan Medical Commission Act 2020 with the objective to regulate medical profession, medical education and to recognize medical and dental qualification all over Pakistan.
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Through the new legislation, Pakistan Medical Commission has withheld the provinces from conducting a centralized provincial/regional medical and dental college admission test and has given this power to the National Medical Authority, who shall conduct annually, as per the standards approved by the National Medical and Dental Academic Board, a centralized single admissions test (MDCAT) throughout Pakistan on virtual platform.
The chief minister said that the PMC Act 2020 did not appreciate the fact that all the provinces have their own academic syllabus / curriculum and that MDCAT cannot be made a centralized / single admissions test. “Approach of this nature is violative of the Fundamental Rights of the students who tend to seek admissions in different medical universities on merit,” he said.
Mr Shah said that the PMC Act 2020 has not even taken on board the Provinces and stakeholders in respect of conducting a centralized / single admissions test. The PMC Act has proved to be a disaster for smaller provinces as it allows private sector medical colleges and universities to admit students irrespective of their domiciled province, the CM said and added MDCAT test was carried out from the syllabus of Federal government at a higher passing percentage of 65 percent. Therefore, the passing percentage of students of Sindh remained low.
He said that Sindh Cabinet approved the proposal of Health Department to lower passing percentage in MDCAT-2021 to 50 percent from 65 percent so that the candidates having not less than 50 percent in MDCAT-2021 were considered as eligible for admission in MBBS and BDS Session 2021-22 while the overall weightage for evaluation the merit remains the same as per following formula.
The Pakistan Medical Commission (PMC) officially turned down the Sindh government’s request to slash the MDCAT passing percentage for admissions to private medical and dental colleges in the province, Murad Shah said and added due to this decision of Pakistan Medical Commission, Sindh Province would be facing shortage of doctors in future as most of the seats in private medical and dental universities and colleges would remain unfilled.
The chief minister requested the Prime Minister to consider the decision of Sindh Cabinet and issue necessary directions to Pakistan Medical Commission to register the students of Public and Private Medical and Dental Universities and Colleges who have been admitted as per the criteria set by the Sindh Health Department, He added that the Prime Minister may consider the proposal of conducting one separate entry test at provincial level by each province of Pakistan as per their syllabus / curriculum for the admission in their respective Public and Private Medical and Dental Universities and Colleges.
At this the prime minister asked the chief minister to send him the proposal and request in writing so that action could be taken accordingly.
Earlier, the prime minister landed at Faisal Base where the chief minister along with his cabinet members received him. The chief minister drove the prime minister in his vehicle to Mazar-e-Quaid where the prime minister offered fateh at the mazar of the father of the nation and recorded his impressions in the visitors book. The chief minister again drove the prime minister to CM house where they held one-on-one meeting to discuss issues of mutual interest.
At the conclusion of the meeting the prime minister talked to the official media and apprised them of his decision he had taken in the meeting with the provincial government.