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Self-finance medical students demand equal rights

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Self-finance medical students demand equal rights
« on: January 19, 2009, 07:43:20 PM »
Self-finance medical students demand equal rights
Student's father says he had to take bank loan to pay son's fee

Lahore, Jan 19: With the elimination of self-finance schemes in medical institutions in the province, students who were earlier enrolled under the schemes are demanding that their fees be cut down to the same level.

Medical college administrations have said that under the old rules, the self-finance students signed affidavits binding them to the fee schedule.

There were 388 seats reserved for self-finance programmes in nine colleges in the province, while the number of self-finance students already I n different stages of medical colleges goes into the thousands. Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif announced the elimination of the schemes in medical colleges last year and students were admitted on merit alone this year.

Exemption: A number of medical students from the Services Institute of Medical Sciences (SIMS), requesting anonymity, said most students enrolled on self-finance had over 900 marks in their intermediate exams. They said that due to the lack of opportunities, they are forced to pay up to Rs 300,000 in fees every year. They said after graduation, they were hired at the same government and private hospitals as the students admitted on the basis of merit, adding that it was unfair to make them pay heavy fees. "We met with the CM silently, and he assured us that half of our fees would be exempted. However, no notification to that effect has been issued yet," they added.

A second year student at the Fatima Jinnah Medical College (FJMC) said the elimination of the self-finance scheme by the CM had been a good thing, but the older students must also be accommodated. She added that she had 936 marks in her intermediate examinations, and it was not fair that she was paying extra fees.

Bank loan: The father of a SIMS medical student, Muhammad Qayuum, said it was very hard for middle class people to afford heavy fees. He said he had been forced to take a bank loan to pay for his son's education, and only he could know how hard it was.

Another medical student said students were planning protests against the discrimination, adding that they had signed an affidavit, but the CM could overturn that. An official from the University of Health Sciences said that they had not been sent any notification that would allow them to accommodate the old students, adding that the students had signed affidavits binding them to pay the full fees.

Technical Health Department Additional Secretary Mushtaq Ahmed Sulheria said the department had not received any direction from the CM ordering a concession in fees for old students. Daily Times
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