KARACHI: Pakistan Medical Association (PMA) has showed concern over the recommendations furnished by a panel of the Pakistan Medical & Dental Council (PMDC), for a 25% fee increase. According to the recommendations, the tuition fee will be increased from Rs 642,000 to Rs 800,000. Pakistan Medical Association (Centre) on Sunday held its central council meeting in Karachi. The meeting was presided over by PMA Centre President Dr Muhammad Ashraf Nizami. Central councillors from all over Pakistan attended the meeting. Speaking at a press conference after the meeting, PMA office-bearers Prof Muhammad Ashraf Nizami, Dr S M Qaisar Sajjad, Dr Ikram Ahmed Tunio, Dr Qazi M Wasiq, Dr Talha Sherwani, Dr Izhar Ahmed Chaudhry, and Dr Ahmed Bhimani said that PMDC recommendations appeared to only benefit and empower private medical colleges. “This was all in contrast to the PMDC Regulations 2016 for admissions to MBBS and BDS. The federal government and the Pakistan Association of Private Medical and Dental Institutions (PAMI) had influenced the PMDC to make such unique recommendations,” Dr Ashraf Nizami said. He said the board recommended that the candidates will have to deposit fee for five-year programme in the form of post-dated cheques, which was unprecedented in the history of medical education. PMA demanded an independent, autonomous and transparent PMDC. The council showed its concern over the process of entry test for admissions in medical colleges. The entry test for admission to public sector medical colleges in Sindh, conducted by National Testing Service (NTS) on October 22, 2017, were cancelled after inquiry due to the leakage of a questionnaire just a day before the exam, allegedly in connivance with the NTS staff to mint money. PMA demanded that such entry tests be immediately banned all over Pakistan and instead the intermediate examination system should be improved and made foolproof; and admissions in medical colleges only be given on the basis of the results of the intermediate examinations. Speakers said PMA under the central leadership had taken steps by joining international forums, most prominently, the World Medical Association (WMA) and Confederation of Medical Associations of Asia & Oceania (CMAAO). At the regional level, PMA was recently invited to attend the general assembly of the Confederation of Medical Associations of Asia and Oceania (CMAAO) which was organised by Japan Medical Association in Tokyo; in which PMA Centre President Prof Ashraf Nizami and Secretary General Dr Qaisar Sajjad represented PMA. “We are proud to announce that in a correspondence addressed to PMA Centre, WMA Secretary General Dr Otmar Kloiber officially intimated that the general assembly, during its plenary session in Chicago, on October 14, 2017 had awarded the membership of World Medical Association (WMA) to Pakistan Medical Association. The PMA now intends to play its due role in the global mainstream,” Dr Nizami added. Published in Daily Times, December 4th 2017.