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Dhaka Tribune

Increasing private med school seats draws flak

Update : 14 Feb 2014, 06:23 PM

The health ministry has given “conditional approval” for increasing 230 seats in 21 private medical and dental colleges across the country although many of them failed to fulfil their existing quota of seats despite repeated extension of admission deadlines.

A meeting of the ministry on January 27 made the decision, as well as giving primary approval for opening a 50-bed dental college and new dental units at two medical institutes.

Health Secretary MM Niazuddin said several conditions were set out for increasing a limited number of seats at several medical and dental colleges, that were doing comparatively good.

The conditions include taking mandatory permission of affiliation before admitting students to those seats, increasing teachers, keeping 10% beds for poor patients and recording their list, arranging lectures in galleries, keeping updated medical journals and books, arranging oxygen plant and reserving 5% seats for poor and meritorious students. 

Professor Dr Mahbub-E-Rashid, president of Health Rights Movement Bangladesh, told the Dhaka Tribune that the move to increase seats was done only to “promote the business” of private medical colleges.

He questioned the reason behind the decision which, he said, came despite the recent suspension of approval for 14 new medical colleges and inspection for all private medical colleges. He also raised questions as to who would monitor and supervise the conditions.

Sources said the health directorate has made six admission deadline extensions since November for private medical colleges, with the latest extension continuing until February 15.

However, Shah Md Selim, secretary general of Bangladesh Private Medical College Association (BPMCA), told the Dhaka Tribune that the BPMCA sought to increase both the number of medical colleges and their seats.

Saying the organisation did not want to secure permission in an improper or illegal way, Selim said the health ministry should make necessary inspections before giving any kind of permission.

The increased seat allotment includes five additional seats for Prime Medical College, five for Rangpur Community Medical College, 10 for Sylhet Women’s Medical College, 25 for Barinda Medical College, 10 for City Medical College, 15 for Shahid Mansur Ali Medical College, 10 for Dhaka Community Medical College, five for North East Medical College, 15 for Samarita Medical College, 10 for Uttara Adhunik Medical College, 10 for Central Medical College, 20 for Enam Medical College, five for Community-based Medical College, 20 for Anwar Khan Medical College, 15 for at Sirajul Islam Medical College, 10 for Green Life Medical College, 15 for Gazi Medical College and 15 for Southern Medical College.

Among the dental colleges, 15 seats each were increased at Universal Dental College and Samorita Hospital’s dental unit, while Saphena Women’s Dental College gained 20 seats.

The new 50-bed Al Amin Dental College received primary approval, while the Community-based Medical College and Dhaka National Medical College received permission to open dental units of 30 and 20 beds respectively.

According to the health directorate, the country currently has 54 private medical and 14 dental colleges, accommodating 4,800 and 1,050 students.

Meanwhile, another meeting of the ministry officially suspended the approval of 13 private medical colleges and a dental college, and formed four committees to inspect those colleges before making a final decision. The colleges are: Kasiruddin Memorial Medical College, Rangpur, US Dental College, Uttara, Abdul Hamid Medical College, Addin-Akij Medical College, Shah Makdum Medical College, US Bangla Medical College, Care Medical College,  Universal Medical College, Brahmanbaria Medical College, IIMCH Medical College, Parkview Medical College.

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