The Sindh government on Tuesday announced it would allow students to get admission to medical and dental colleges in the province if they secure 50% marks in the Medical and Dental Admission College Test 2021.
Sindh Health Minister Dr Azra Fazal Pechuho had last week said the provincial cabinet decided to lower the minimum pass percentage of MDCAT from 65% to 50% to save the academic career of students and also to avert shortage of doctors in the province.
The health department, in a notification, said: “Shaheed Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto Medical University (SMBBMU) Larkana is allowed to initiate admission process for the admission in MBBS/BDS in Medical and Dental Universities/Colleges (Public and Private Sector).”
“The overall weightage and terms and conditions for admission shall remain same and strictly be followed as per relevant rules,” the notification added.
In last week’s press conference last week, the health minister had also said the provincial governments, under the 18th Constitutional Amendment, were empowered to adopt the admission policies for medical and dental colleges but the “centre had been unduly meddling in this affair.”
She recalled that 400 seats in dental colleges had remained vacant last year, while the medical colleges of the province had been compelled to offer admissions to candidates belonging to other provinces.
She said that as per the World Health Organisation standard, there should be a doctor for every 350 hospital beds, but in Sindh, there is only one doctor for 3,500 patients.
Dr Pechuho warned that the province could face a shortage of doctors in the next four years if an “unjust admission policy continued to prevail in Sindh.”
She said the Pakistan Medical Commission (PMC) on its own had set the minimum passing criterion of 65% without consulting the provinces.