For the first time in the country’s history, 5,873 seats in public sector and private medical and dental colleges could not be filled this year.
In view of this situation, the Pakistan Medical Commission (PMC) has approved a special policy to fill the vacant seats for the 2021-22 session.
Under the policy, the colleges, which did not upload the lists of admitted students, have been allowed to upload them by February 18. After that date, the PMC will offer vacant seats to the eligible students who have not been admitted. One-time placements will be offered strictly on merit to ensure all admissions are complete by February 28.
According to a PMC document, 1,566 seats are vacant in Sindh, 1,331 in Punjab, 72 in Balochistan, 58 in Islamabad and 51 in Azad Jammu and Kashmir.
Through its Medical and Dental Undergraduate Education (Admission, Curriculum, and Conduct) Regulations 2021, the PMC had last year informed the public and private medical and dental colleges about the admission process, timelines and procedures for the conduct of admissions for the session 2021-22.
According to the regulations, both private and public sector colleges had to strictly follow the statutory timelines for admissions and upload the list of admitted students on the PMC portal, as per the published and announced schedule.
The colleges were repeatedly informed, reminded and updated regarding the approaching timelines which were directly notified and publicly announced to ensure that compliance could be ensured by the closure of the admission process.
Despite PMC’s numerous warnings to the public and private medical and dental colleges to follow the timelines to ensure students are properly facilitated, 5,873 (28.31pc) seats remained vacant by the end of the admission process for 2021-22.
Out of 3,682 seats available in private and public dental colleges, 1,936 (52.6pc) seats remained vacant till the admission deadline, while out of 17,065 seats in public and private medical colleges, 3,937 (23.07pc) seats remained vacant. Tellingly 78pc (3,078) of the vacant seats in medical colleges are from public medical colleges and 47pc (917) seats in public dental colleges remained vacant due to non-compliance with the admission deadlines.
On February 15, the Medical and Dental Council held a meeting and reviewed the status of vacant seats and considered the views of the colleges. It unanimously approved that subsequent to the assessment of admitted student lists uploaded by each private and public medical and dental college and reconciling any complaints by students, admissions on vacant seats will be carried out under the Vacant Seat Policy.