The medical students of Balochistan are on a sit in strike once again to ask for their rights, and this time as well the reason lies in the delay of commencement of their academic sessions at their respective medical colleges in the province. Protests of similar nature have been seen in many previous academic years in Balochistan.

During the last month, many protests erupted in the capital city Quetta. One of the most prominent protests came forward as the #MedicalClassesOnRoad, organized by the medical students who have been awaiting merit lists for admissions in the three newly established medical colleges of Balochistan i.e Jhalawan, Makran and Loralai. According to sources, around 150 students have been awaiting their merit lists. The students are protesting in a unique way this time by taking lectures inside the protest camps to avoid wastage of their academic time.

The issue began back in May 2019 when the Medical & Dental Colleges Admission Test (MDCAT) results were announced by the Bolan University of Medical and Health Sciences (BUMHS), Quetta. According to the prospectus of BUMHS for 2019, the MDCAT was being held for all the 4 public sector medical colleges of Balochistan (BUMHS Quetta, Loralai Medical College, JMC Khuzdar and MMC Turbat) and lists were to be announced accordingly. However, only the lists for BUMHS Quetta were displayed and the other three were “withheld in abeyance till finalization of recognition of these colleges by PM&DC”, according to the official merit list notice issued by BUMHS.

As per the recent notices issued by BUMHS on the matter, the administration is keenly looking into the matter and have conducted official syndicate meetings in this regard, but the issue is yet to be solved. The Health Department of Government of Balochistan has directed the university to “play a positive role in uplifting the medical education In Balochistan instead of becoming part of an effort to close doors of Medical education for youth of the province” in an official notice to the administration of the university.

However, the real questions is: Where did the things go wrong?

Few years back, when the three new medical colleges in Balochistan were established in Khuzdar, Turbat and Loralai, their matter of registration was taken up to the PM&DC by their respective administrations. According to credible sources, political pressure and point scoring became a reason for the hasty initiation of classes in these medical colleges two years back, without prior registration with PM&DC and ensuring the requirements. The District Headquarter Hospitals were converted into teaching hospitals which lacked consultants (specialists) in every department along with necessary healthcare services. Consequently, this year, the PM&DC issued strict directions to BUMHS to hold admissions for the new medical colleges unless they fulfil the criteria for registrations with PM&DC.

Evidently, the ball now falls in the court of the BUMHS administration to think of a way out of this scenario in such a way that neither the students’ time and nor the quality of institutions is compromised. This can be done by holding appropriate negotiations between PM&DC and the administrations of the three medical colleges. Moreover, the Government of Balochistan can play a crucial role in ensuring that the newly established colleges and their respective hospitals are provided with the required infrastructure, faculty and facilities to counter the registration issue as soon as possible, while making sure no such issues arise in the game of political scoring in the future.

During this whole time, Twitter has been the favorite place to voice this issue by the medical students from around Balochistan, here is what they had to say:


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The author is a media student from Balochistan. An avid writer/blogger with an interest in current affairs of the province. He is an advocate of media literacy and often writes fact check articles. Education and student activism are also his interests.

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