Dhaka : The new health minister has cancelled the “primary approval” of 12 private medical colleges, dramatically overturning the decision of his predecessor.
Mohammad Nasim said on Tuesday ‘lapses’ in the approval process had prompted the change of heart.
“We decided to review the process,” he said while meeting executives of the Bangladesh Health Reporters’ Forum at his office.
Former health minister AFM Ruhal Haque had given provisional approval to those medical colleges in October last year towards the end of the previous Awami League government’s tenure.
The sanction provoked sharp criticisms as the country already had 54 private medical colleges and 23 government institutions.
Most of their owners were close to the party. The one in Kishoreganj was owned by a relative of President Abdul Hamid.
Nasim replaced Haque after the Jan 5 elections.
Director of medical education Prof ABM Abdul Hannan told, the cancellation was ordered as “some medical colleges were not fulfilling the requirements”.
Hannan leads inspections before the primary approval is granted.
After that, a proposed private medical college has to take academic approval from the health ministry.
The final approval comes from the university authorities.
Of the 12 medical colleges four were in Dhaka – Care Medical College at Mohammadpur, Universal Medical College at Mohakhali, United Medical College at Gulshan, and US-Bangla Medical College at Dhaka suburb of Narayanganj.
The Marine City Medical College is at Chittagong while Park View Medical College is at Sylhet, Brahmanbaria Medical College at Brahmanbaria, and Abdul Hamid Medical College at Kishoreganj.
Besides those, the primary approval of Khulna City Medical College, Ad-din-Akij Medical College at Khulna, Kachiruddin Medical College at Rangpur and Shah Makdum Medical College at Rajshahi were also cancelled.
A hospital with at least 70 percent bed occupancy and 10 percent free beds, infrastructure for teaching basic subjects – anatomy, physiology and biochemistry, body dissection facilities, and library are some of the key requirements for primary approval.
A student must have minimum 120 scores out of 200 to enroll in any medical college.
Nasim said he had turned down a request of private medical college owners to lower the enrolment score.