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Punjab

Posted at: Jun 8, 2019, 7:18 AM; last updated: Jun 8, 2019, 7:18 AM (IST)

Panel to review fee set-up of private medical varsities

Move comes at the eleventh hour as admissions are around the corner

Karam Prakash

Tribune News Service

Patiala, June 7

In the run-up to this year’s MBBS admissions, the state government’s move to put a cap on exorbitant fee charged by private medical institutions seems to be taken at the eleventh hour. The government has formed a three-member committee on Thursday to review the fee structure of private medical universities.

Despite much talk, the government couldn’t amend the Punjab Private Health Sciences Educational Institutions (Regulation of Admission, Fixation of fee and Making of Reservation) Act, 2006.

Experts believe that the entire exercise is mere eyewash to “befool” poor aspirants who can’t afford hefty fee of private institutions. Moreover, the government had already issued a notification just on the day of forming the committee where private medical institutions can charge MBBS fee on their own for the upcoming session.

The committee consists of Health Minister, Finance Minister and Higher Technical Education Minister. Ironically, none from the Ministry of Medical Education and Research, which is responsible for the MBBS admissions, is on the committee. Moreover, in the recent Cabinet rejig, the Health and Medical Education Ministry has been given to two different ministers, which could affect the efficiency. In fact, the government has been dillydallying with the issue since it sought amendment in the said Act in September last year after taking a lot of flak.

However, the existing Act talks about regulating fee of only medical and dental institutes and is silent on the word medical universities. These private institutions are taking advantage of this anomaly. The government wants to make the new amendment to insert the word “private medical universities” so that the Act can be applicable to all private institutes. With the proposed amendment, the fee is likely to come down from Rs 70 lakh to Rs 15 lakh.

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