ISLAMABAD- Three medical and dental colleges have been penalized by Competition Commission of Pakistan (CCP) for violating Section 10 of the Competition Act, 2010 by fraudulently claiming recognition by the Pakistan Medical and Dental Council (PMDC) and offering admissions to students for 2013-14 sessions. The imposed fine is Rs22.5 million.
The CCP conducted an inquiry into allegations of resorting to deceptive marketing practices, after the PMDC in a press release named 22 private medical and dental colleges that had failed to meet its registration criteria for 2013-14 and were either not recognised or had restrictions placed on offering admissions for the 2013-14 sessions.
The CCP inquiry was not only aimed to implement its mandate but also to safeguard the interests of thousands of students from being adversely affected by the unrecognised medical institutions.
The inquiry found that eight of the 22 institutions named by the PMDC had misrepresented facts about their recognition by the council through their websites, and had not communicated to the students and their parents that they had been barred from offering admissions for the year 2013-14, and in doing so violated Section 10 of the Competition Act.
These eight institutions include the Pak Red Crescent Medical & Dental College, Lahore; Mohiuddin Islamic Medical College, Mirpur, Azad Kashmir; Abbottabad International Medical College, Abbottabad; Independent Medical College, Faisalabad; Women Medical College, Abbottabad; Hashmat Medical & Dental College, Gujrat; Bhittai Medical & Dental College; Mirpurkhas Sindh (BDS); and AJ&K Medical College, Muzaffarabad.
The CCP order imposed a penalty of Rs7.5m each on the Bhittai Medical & Dental College, Mirpurkhas; Women Medical College, Abbottabad; and Pak Red Crescent Medical & Dental College, Lahore for violating Section 10 of the Competition Act in view of the timing of their advertisements about offering admissions for 2013-14 despite being restricted by the PMDC.
No penalty was imposed on the remaining medical and dental colleges due to lack of evidence but they were strongly cautioned against publicising their recognition by the PMDC when that recognition is either suspended or cancelled.