Private medical education in Punjab has got 100% costlier every year on an average in the past decade.
The charges for the MBBS/ BDS (Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery; and Bachelor of Dental Science) courses have become 17-time since 2003, when the annual fee for the government-quota seats in the state’s private medical colleges was just Rs. 13,000. Now, the same-category students pay Rs. 2.2 lakh each. The first huge increase came during the Congress regime of Captain Amarinder Singh in 2004, when the fee shot up six times.
The fee for the managementquota seats was also hiked. Every private medical and dental college in the state has 50% seats in the government quota, 35% in the management category, and 15% reserved for NRIs.
T he SAD- BJP combine, which came to power after the Congress, kept on increasing the fee. The state ministry of medical education and research has remained in hands of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) mostly.
“The fee should not rise more than 5% a year. For the first time in medical education, the government has crossed all limits this year and turned the medical colleges into shops. People who have money can buy medical education, and the rest may take a walk,” said Dr Pyara Lal Garg, state coordinator of Jan Swasthya Abhiyan and a former registrar of the Baba Farid University of Health Sciences (BFUHS), Faridkot.
The government increased the fee from to Rs. 2.2 lakh for the first year. Every year, the cost will increase 10%, becoming Rs. 3.22 lakh by the final year.
The private medical colleges were pressurising the government to increase it to Rs. 10 lakh annually.
A proposal they moved last year to the department of medical education and research said the annual fee should be Rs. 10.5 lakh.