Private colleges’ high fees: Court seeks replies from PMDC and Centre
LAHORE, Dec 11: The Lahore High Court on Tuesday sought replies from the Pakistan Medical and Dental Council and federal and Punjab governments on a petition challenging ‘exorbitant’ fee structure of private medical colleges.
Earlier, the University of Health Sciences (UHS) submitted its reply and stated that the fee structure of private medical colleges in the country was regulated by the PMDC.
However, it pointed out that according to council’s rules no medical or dental institution in private sector could charge tuition fee more than Rs600,000 per annum per student. This fee shall exclude university fees, taxes, hostel fee, transport fee and the one-time admission fee which shall not be more than Rs50,000, the reply added.
The UHS counsel argued that the questions raised in the instant petition were not related to the university, therefore, the petition should be dismissed.
Judicial Activism Panel Chairman Muhammad Azhar Siddique filed the petition saying the private medical colleges had been receiving Rs600,000 from a student per year. He said a poor student could not even dream of studying at a private college though he/she had the constitutional right to get education.
The lawyer said the PMDC should be asked that under what law it allowed the private medical colleges to evolve such an exorbitant fee structure. He said a division bench of the LHC had in 2011 directed the council to introduce an affordable fee structure in private colleges so that students having less money but ability could study there.
He said the PMDC failed to ensure affordable quality education in medical colleges and the private institutions had been increasing their fees but their quality of the education was declining day by day.
The petitioner-lawyer prayed to the court to take action against exorbitant fee structure of the private colleges and the failure of the PMDC in ensuring affordable medical education.
Justice Nasir Saeed Sheikh directed the respondents to submit their replies and adjourned hearing till last week of January 2013.