The PMDC Quota Rule: A Boon or a Bane for Pakistan’s Healthcare Future?
Medical journey for female students might get harder after PMDC passed the 50:50 quota of boys to girls ratio in all medical colleges of Pakistan. In the 138th session, PMDC approved this law which will be implemented in admission session of 2014-15, to counter the increasing number of female medical students in Pakistan. Every year the trend of female medical students is increasing, with male students finding it difficult to get admission. Almost 70% female students appear in entry tests compared to only 30% male students.
The true meaning of merit is to reward the deserving one. The prestigious medical universities offer admission only on merit basis. The aptitude of student matches on grades without any gender discrimination with medical doors open for all. With the approval of this law, many deserving female students and their parents have stood up against it, as it is discriminates the essence of true merit in the country. Open merit system is meant for those students who have worked the hardest to achieve admission in medical college.
However putting the other side’s view point, our country is suffering a lot from it because a number of female students graduating each year are unable to continue their profession after marriage because of our cultural and social customs. Our social culture prohibits majority of females to continue their medical education after marriage. Out of the few male students who are graduating each year, only a few aspire for postgraduation in Pakistan whereas majority of them leave the country for better resources.
The question that is on everybody’s mind is whether is it beneficial for our country to apply this law. Many conditions arise where medical facilities are required like earthquake and flood affected areas and other remote places where female doctors are not available and male doctors are an utmost need.
The law is correct in the way as is intends to promote the culture of boys getting admission in medical colleges. But targeting merit is not the only solution. There are many ways that can be explored by implementing compulsory female practice after graduation and opening up more female oriented medical fields in hospitals.
Another solution to produce more male doctors in Pakistan is that government should promote the male students’ education with scholarships. The reason boys do not opt for medicine is lack of interest, which is the major problem. The utmost important solution should be their proper motivation through scholarship programs. Merely giving admission is not the solution, but proper upbringing with competition will be required to overcome this problem.
Education also needs to be fixed at the grass root level. By opening more primary schools the number of students will increase and ultimately this problem will be overcome. It is not just admission but it is a dream, an aim for many students. Getting admission in a prestigious college is an achievement for a student who has left no stone unturned for admission in medicine. The glorious journey cannot be put to an end before it even starts for undeserving candidates, only on gender criteria.
About the Author: Amna Wiquar, is a 3rd year medical student at Dow Medical College, Pakistan interested in clinical research and working as a volunteer in Patients’ Welfare Association. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
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