The government has taken the initiative to fix the tuition fees for MBBS and BDS courses at all private medical and dental colleges.
The Health Ministry recently formed a four-member committee, headed by Additional Secretary (medical education and manpower) Aiyubur Rahman, to make a decision in this regard.
In its first meeting last month, most committee members reportedly proposed that the private colleges should set their tuition fees at Tk8-10 lakh for their five-year courses.
However, committee member Dr Moazzem Hossain, also the president of Bangladesh Private Medical College Association (BPMCA), opposed the proposal.
He claimed that public medical colleges spent Tk22-24 lakh of public money for each of its students during their complete five years of studies, adding that it would not be wise to fix the fees without doing proper groundwork at both home and abroad.
Following the meeting, the Health Ministry issued a circular on July 22 to all private medical and dental colleges to submit a series of information within 3 days. The health directorate also issued a separate circular regarding the same issue. However, the Dhaka Tribune has learnt that all of the private medical and dental college have yet to submit the information including their audit reports before the ministry.
Aiyubur Rahman, head of the committee, told the Dhaka Tribune they have asked the colleges for audit reports of three consecutive years and other necessary information, in a bid to know the actual income and expenditure of the colleges.
Aiyubur said he has given directives to issue another letter to remind the colleges to submit the information. The committee would fix the rate before the upcoming 2014-15 academic session, he added.
Meanwhile, Dr Moazzem Hossain told the Dhaka Tribune that it would be unwise to fix the same tuition fee for each college, adding that the college’s location, infrastructure, hospital facilities, teachers and educational facilities should also be taken into consideration. He proposed that the fees be set at Tk15-20 lakh for different private medical and dental colleges.
The medical and dental colleges have been requested to provide the following information: amount of land, infrastructural development, machineries, numbers of manpower (teachers, officials and employees), manpower at hospital (doctors, nurses, technicians, paramedics and other staff), beds at the hospitals, transportation, license renewals and inspection fees, expenses for conduct board, detailed audit reports from three consecutive years (2012, 2013 and 2014), sector-wise charges of different fees, salary of teachers and other staffs and the deposit slip of money which is charged from foreign students in the government treasury.
The other two members of the committee are Dr M Iqbal Arslan, secretary general of Bangladesh Medical Association (BMA) and Dr MA Hannan, director (medical education and manpower) of the health directorate.