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Ad hoc PMDC committee recognised 13 colleges in its one-year tenure

ISLAMABAD: The ad hoc committee of the Pakistan Medical and Dental Council (PMDC) has recognised 13 medical and dental colleges – four from the public sector and nine from the private sector – in almost a year out of which nine have been notified since Dec 31, 2018.

The Pakistan Medical Association (PMA) has criticised the registration of new colleges as existing colleges are lacking faculty.

However the former president of the committee, retired Justice Mian Shakirullah Jan, said the colleges were registered according to collective decisions by the council.

Pakistan Medical Association criticises registration of new colleges as existing ones lack faculty

Dr Shabbir Lehri, who is a member of the committee, said colleges were registered after a ban in this regard was lifted by the Supreme Court.

On Jan 12 last year, the SC dissolved the PMDC and formed an ad hoc committee chaired by Mr Jan to run the council’s affairs.

However a new ordinance promulgated by President Dr Arif Alvi last month announced that a 17-member council will deal with issues related to medical colleges, attached hospitals and health professionals.

This ordinance will have to pass through parliament within 120 days.

According to documents available with Dawn, the registered colleges include the Bilawal Medical College in Jamshoro, Gajju Khan Medical College in Swabi, Niazi Medical and Dental College in Sargodha, Dental College of HITEC Institute of Medical Sciences in Taxila and the Rashid Latif Medical College in Lahore.

The Avicenna Dental College in Lahore, Hazrat Bari Sarkar Dental College in Islamabad, Abwa Medical College in Faisalabad, Gambat Medical College in Gambat, Khyber Medical University Institute of Dental Sciences in Kohat, CMH Institute of Medical Sciences in Bahawalpur, Al-Aleem Medical College in Lahore and CMH Medical College in Kharian have also been registered.

PMA Secretary General Dr Qaisar Sajjad told Dawn it was unfortunate how many medical colleges were registered under the ad hoc committee.

“Existing medical and dental colleges don’t have professors and assistant professors for a number of subjects, leading quality of education to suffer. We expected that the ad hoc committee, which was established on the directions of the SC, would ban the registration of new medical colleges as long as faculty members are not arranged.

“It is unfortunate that so many colleges were registered. The chief justice of Pakistan should take suo motu on this issue,” he said.

Dr Sajjad suggested that the council list faculty members of every college on its website to ensure faculty is available for anatomy, surgery and other basic subjects at every institution.

“We have already demanded that the presidential ordinance be withdrawn and an elected body be allowed to run the council, as is mentioned in the PMDC Ordinance 1962,” he added.

Dr Lehri from the committee explained that it had already the process to register colleges when the SC stopped the council from registering any institution.

“The apex court allowed the registration of colleges in the last quarter of 2018, due to which all the pending applications were approved,” he said.

Mr Jan said that according to the ordinance, he and his team no longer have anything to do with the council and its new management will look into its issues.

“However, whatever we did, including the registration of medical colleges, was legitimate as it was decided by the

council and will not be affected at all,” he said.

On Jan 31, Senator Raza Rabbani criticised the decision to promulgate a new ordinance instead of tabling a bill in parliament.

He said issues concerning the PMDC should have been discussed in the Council of Common Interests and alleged that the ordinance was part of attempts to roll back the 18th Amendment.

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