For officials of the Pakistan Medical and Dental Council (PMDC), dismissing higher orders to terminate the council’s functioning has not borne good news.
Expressing displeasure over the disobedience of its orders, the sub-committee of the National Assembly Standing Committee on Health has recommended that all decisions and notifications issued by the PMDC from February 6, 2014 onwards as null and void.
In a meeting of the sub-committee of the NA Standing Committee on National Health Services, Regulation and Coordination (NHSRC) chaired by Dr Zulfiqar Ali Bhatti on Tuesday, it was decided that the registration of all medical colleges and doctors across the country issued after February 6, 2014 should immediately be revoked.
Bhatti expressed disapproval with PMDC officials including its president for holding meetings and issuing notifications after being told not to. The irresponsible attitude of the PMDC officials, he said, clearly reflects that they do not acknowledge that they are functioning under the NHSRC Ministry and are accountable to this committee.
“It was shocking to learn that the PMDC official has termed this NA sub-committee an artificial committee with no legal status,” stated Bhatti.
Responding to this, PMDC President Masood Hameed Khan said they had not received any notification from the NHSRC Ministry barring them from issuing the minutes of the meeting held on February 6.
Khan’s claim was challenged by Bhatti, who said the sub-committee, in the presence of all its members in the last meeting, directed the PMDC not to hold any more meetings.
“This committee is trying to smoothly resolve the PMDC issue, but the irresponsible attitude of the council is forcing the committee to take strict action. We are well aware of what the PMDC officials are up to, how they are making money and trying to utilise it,” said an infuriated Bhatti.
“The PMDC only accepts notifications issued by the NHSRC Ministry which are in their favour, ignoring those which go against them. This attitude is unacceptable,” added Bhatti.
Meanwhile, members of the Young Doctors Association’s Punjab and K-P chapters gave a detailed presentation on PMDC, informing the sub-committee that a majority of the council’s members are illegal and have registered fake medical colleges and doctors.
Dr Amir from YDA Punjab said that since 2007, the number of registered medical colleges have increased from 21 to 129. Of these, a large number are private institutions which the council members either own or have a share in. Many Pakistani doctors abroad are facing immense problems due to fake registrations, he added.
“By registering fake doctors, PMDC is giving them licenses to kill,” lamented Amir.
He said that even the PMDC election was illegal and a majority of the members do not qualify for council member positions.
Responding to this allegation, the PMDC president said that if the elections were illegal, the NHSRC secretary should have objected at the time.
Published in The Express Tribune, February 19th, 2014.