LAHORE: Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Mian Saqib Nisar on Saturday issued an order fixing Rs640,000 as the fee for admission to all private Medical Colleges in the country.
The CJP was hearing a suo moto notice of the exorbitant fees charged by private medical colleges and the lack of a uniform admission policy at Supreme Court’s Lahore registry when he passed the directives.
On the occasion, private medical colleges’ owners and chief executive officers (CEOs), besides Attorney General of Pakistan were present in the courtroom.
During the court proceedings today, the CJP expressed extreme displeasure over deteriorating standards of medical education and inflated fee structure of privately owned medical colleges.
He emphasised for a system wherein medical aspirants from modest background could afford to study in the medical colleges.
The chief justice also pointed out private clinics being operated by the doctors on the government payroll. He warned the government doctors to restrain from operating their private clinics and rather serve people in the public hospitals.
He also passed directives for the formation of a constitutional committee to scrutinize the constitutional implications at the medical colleges.
At last hearing, the two-member bench, headed by Chief Justice Mian Saqib Nisar, had restrained Pakistan Medical & Dental Council (PMDC) from accrediting new medical and dental colleges till further orders.
The two-judge bench of the apex court gave this restraining order while hearing the suo motu case pertaining to excessive fee structure of private medical and dental colleges.
CJP Nisar then warned that if financial irregularities were found in the affiliation of colleges, the matter would be referred to the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) for an investigation into it.
“I have heard that the money to the tune of Rs40 billion was offered by colleges for affiliation,” he remarked.
He then observed that the entire system needed to be fixed even if that required closing two or four colleges for violating the laws, or imposing heavy fines on their owners.
CJP Nisar observed that private colleges were preferred because good numbers could be achieved in examinations.
Expressing concern over mushrooming of private universities, the chief justice then directed the provincial government to come up with the criterion for granting permission to privately-owned universities.