Tag Archives: PMDC

New admissions policy: 50:50 ratio for men and women in medical colleges, says PMDC


The Pakistan Medical and Dental Council’s (PMDC) new admission policy, based on the gender-parity quota, has confused the medical universities in the midst of the admission process.

The policy is also said to be in violation of a Supreme Court judgment, which ordered merit-based admissions. The PMDC’s September 18 letter, addressed to the health secretaries of the four provinces and the federal government, has notified that a 50 per cent quota must be followed for each of the genders. All medical colleges and universities in the public and private sectors have been asked to comply with the directives in their 2014-2015 admissions.

“The council … has considered the growing trend of females in the medical education and their decreasing sustainability in the medical field,” reads the letter, a copy of which is available with The Express Tribune. “The number of seats for male and female students should be 50 per cent each.”

However, the policy seems to have not gone down well with the universities, such as Liaquat University of Medical and Health Sciences (LUMHS), which received the letter on Thursday. The university has already announced admissions and the process of submitting admission forms will be completed by September 30. The entry test is scheduled for October 19.  “The decision to this effect was taken at the council’s meeting in February but we were intimated about it today [Thursday],” said vice-chancellor Dr Noshad Shaikh, referring to the 137th meeting of the PMDC, which was held on February 4 this year.

He complained about the PMDC’s lack of coordination with the provincial and federal governments, also citing the council’s bad governance. “They have issued these directives when the admissions are already underway. The timing is wrong. And then, we have been asked to implement it from this very session.”

He told The Express Tribune that the university will not take any decision individually as they will wait for the Sindh government’s directives. Meanwhile, LUMHS will continue its existing admissions policy, he added. He also sought a policy review from the PMDC.

The university offers 375 seats, including 263 on merit for the 12 districts of Hyderabad and Mirpurkhas divisions and Benazirabad district, according to deputy registrar Dr Saroop Bhatia.

Meanwhile, Dow University of Health Sciences (DUHS) in Karachi has yet to receive this notification. The institution has not received the PMDC letter to allocate 50 per cent of the admission seats each for the males and females, said DUHS pro-vice-chancellor Dr Muhammad Umar Farooq, adding that he cannot comment on the matter.

Published in The Express Tribune, September 27th, 2014.

DG Health’s qualification: Varsity denies PMDC allegation on fake degree issue


Sarhad University of Science and Information Technology (SUST), Peshawar Campus has denied all allegations leveled by the Pakistan Medical and Dental Council (PMDC) regarding the award of a fake Masters in Public Health (MPH) degree to the incumbent Health Ministry director general.

In a press conference held on Thursday, SUST Vice-Chancellor Dr Salimur Rehman said it was true that Health DG Dr Jehanzeb Khan Aurakzai was enrolled in the MPH course at the university, but he still had to clear six papers to complete his degree requirements.

“The university has not awarded him a degree as he still has to appear the papers in which he was marked absent,” Rehman said.

The VC accused PMDC of trying to defame the university due to an ongoing tussle between the Ministry of National Health Services, Regulation and Coordination (NHSRC) and the PMDC over the establishment of the medical regulator’s executive committee by using unfair means.

“To our understanding, PMDC is trying to defame the Health DG who had been asked to probe the controversial constitution of the PMDC Executive Council, by dragging the university into this without having any solid evidence,” Rehman said.

Sharing details, he said that on June 5, Dr Shakeel Ahmed wrote to the Human Rights Cell (HRC) of the Supreme Court alleging that a grade-20 NHRC official was favoured in meeting the requirement of the class attendance and also through arranging special examinations for the courses he failed.

On June 10, the HRC told the university as well as the PMDC to submit their respective reports on the issue by June 30, Rehman said.

“The university received the letter on June 17, while on June 11, the PMDC registrar formed a two-member committee comprising PMDC Deputy Registrar Dr Shaista Faisal and Dr Muhammad Ismail, to probe into the matter,” he said.

Later, the university provided the committee members with all the required documents well on time at its Islamabad and Peshawar campuses, Rehman said.

“However, PMDC Registrar Raja Amjad Mehmood wanted us to say Dr Aurakzai was given a special chance and that he was facilitated in impersonation — something that had never happened. We could in no way admit to it,” he claimed.

Later, Fahad Bin Hasnain, an acting account officer at PMDC, approached the university while claiming to be a member of the committee and asked for Dr Aurakzai’s answer sheets, he added.

“It was strange and shocking to learn that a person who was not a committee member and had no relevance to the issue would be asked to investigate the matter,” said Rehman.

On the other hand, without waiting for the HRC to decide, PMDC directed us to cancel the admission of the Health DG within three days, but our response was that we need to wait for the directives from the HRC,” he said.

Later, Mehmood himself became the chairman of the committee and submitted the findings of the report regarding the award of a degree to the Health DG and declared the university guilty, Rehman said.

Then on July 14, PMDC issued a show cause notice to the university that was later challenged in the Islamabad High Court (IHC) by the university, he said adding the IHC issued reinstatement order on June 28.

“In spite of the stay order dated July 28, on August 4, the PMDC released a frivolous story about award of the fake degree to the Health DG,” he said.

When The Express Tribune contacted PMDC Registrar Mehmood, he said the inquiry was initiated after a complaint was lodged by Dr Shakeel, a classmate of Dr Aurakzai’s who claimed that the latter was given special favour.

“On this, I asked the university to provide us the required documents, however there was huge difference between the documents provided to us by the Islamabad and Peshawar Campuses,” he claimed.

Mehmood denied the allegation that he shared documents with the media and others without waiting for the HRC decision.

Published in The Express Tribune, August 8th, 2014.

Enough is enough: YDA announces sit-in against PMDC policies


The Young Doctors’ Association-Punjab has expressed dissatisfaction with the council of the College of Physicians and Surgeons Pakistan (CPSP) stating that the CPSP lacked a strategy to deal with the Pakistan Medical and Dental Council (PMDC) on the issue of doctors’ registration.

Addressing a press conference at the Punjab Institute of Cardiology on Wednesday, YDA leaders said they would file a writ petition against the PMDC and hold a sit-in in front of the PMDC’s Islamabad office after Eid. Dr Amir Bandesha of the YDA said, “We will not end our sit-in until all doctors who have cleared the FCPS/MCPS exams are registered. If necessary, we will spend the Independence Day in front of the PMDC’s office in Islamabad.”

He said hundreds of consultants had cleared the post-graduate training but couldn’t be posted as consultants because the PMDC hadn’t registered them.

He said the PMDC would deny some doctors registration but register others who had strong references even if they were from the same hospitals. The PMDC does not have an executive body and the registrar is not authorised to take policy matters in his own hands, he said.

He said if the PMDC de-recognised an institute for post-graduation then the procedure for inductions should stop. “To de-recognise a training institute, the PMDC has to issue a letter and give six-months to the institution to fix its problems,” he said.

Published in The Express Tribune, July 17th, 2014.

Senior registrars: PPSC suspends PMDC registration requirement


The Punjab Public Service Commission (PPSC) has agreed, in principle, to conduct interviews of all post graduate doctors who have cleared exams for the Fellow of College of Physicians and Surgeons (FCPS) or Member of College of Physicians and Surgeons (MCPS) and want to apply for the post of senior registrar.

PPSC Chairman’s Representative Shaigan Sharif Malik held a meeting with a delegation of the Young Doctors Association Punjab on Monday and told them that they would allow doctors, who had passed FCPS/MCPS but had not been registered with the Pakistan Medical and Dental Council, to sit the interviews. However, they would have to submit their PMDC registration number before joining the Health Department. The delegation included YDA president Dr Ajmal Chaudhary, Dr Amir Bandesha and Dr Altamesh.

Dr Shabbir Chaudhry, a member of the YDA delegation, told The Express Tribune that the PPSC had also decided to interview doctors who had been previously rejected because they did not have a PMDC registration number.  “We are thankful that the PPSC has accepted our demands. Several doctors had been rejected for the post over the last few days simply because they hadn’t been registered by the PMDC,” he said.

The Punjab Public Service Commission is currently interviewing doctors for posts of senior registrar. The eligibility criteria for the post include specialisation in the faculty the doctors apply in. As many as 750 consultants who passed their Fellow of College of Physicians and Surgeons (FCPS) exams between 2012 and 2013 were not being considered for the posts because the PMDC had de-recognised the institutes they had trained at.

After the PMDC Act was passed in 2012, the council de-recognised several training institutions of the College of Physicians and Surgeons (CPSP). Those who had completed their training at these institutions were hence not registered by the PMDC.

The PPSC had turned down more than 70 doctors for the interview round because they did not have a PMDC registration number.

An official of the PPSC said that they had decided to facilitate doctors who had passed their specialisation exams and only needed to obtain their registration numbers. “It will be mandatory for them to get their registration numbers before joining the Health Department. We allowed the relaxation after receiving instructions from the Health Department in this regard.”

The YDA had also written to the PPSC chairman on the issue. The letter said that the PMDC registrar had denied registration to FCPS and MCPS graduates because of a bias against doctors in the Punjab. The YDA also alleged nepotism, lawlessness and deterioration of profession in the PMDC elections.

It said that doctors had protested the “illegal tenancy of PMDC Registrar Raja Amjad”. It said that the CPSP council had also refused to be part of Dr Asim Hussain’s “illegal council” and “now they are victimising fellows of the college”.

The letter said that the PMDC was registering FSCPS qualifications whimsically and in violation of law. “Some blue-eyed doctors are being registered while others qualifying from same institute are denied registration.”

The letter says that the PMDC lacks a council and Raja Amjad Mehmood, the register, had no right to deny registration to FCPS diploma holders. “It is unfortunate that substandard degrees obtained from foreign institutes are registered with the PMDC while prestigious local qualifications are being denied the same.”  The letter requested that all doctors holding FCPS /MCPS qualification but lacked registration from PMDC be allowed to appear for interviews and selection on merit. PMDC Registrar Dr Raja Amjad Mahmood denied the allegations and said that he was legally appointed registrar of the council. He said there was no nepotism at the PMDC. “Section 16 of the PMDC Act 2012, empowers the PMDC to inspect medical training institutes in the country. We cancelled the affiliation of several institutes after that and asked them to get themselves re-recognised after PMDC inspection. The CPSP was also ordered by the Supreme Court to get their training institutes re-inspected but they didn’t do so.”

Published in The Express Tribune, July 15th, 2014.

Healthcare: PMDC asks private colleges to provide free beds to patients

LAHORE: The Pakistan Medical and Dental College (PMDC) has written a letter to private medical colleges asking them to abide by the rule requiring allocation of 50 per cent beds in teaching hospitals for the poor.

The PMDC has directed the medical colleges to submit a monthly compliance report on the 5th of each month.

The letter has also been sent to the minister for national health services regulations, the national health services regulations secretary and health secretaries of the four provinces and Azad Jammu and Kashmir.

“It has been observed that the provisions contained in Clause 17(6) of Medical and Dental Institutions (recognition, eligibility criteria for enhancement in annual admissions and accreditation standards) Regulations, 2012 are not implemented in its true sense and are broadly violated by the administration of the private sector medical/dental institutions,” reads the letter written by PDMC Registrar Raja Amjad Mahmud.

Quoting the rule, it says, “In teaching hospital, 50 per cent of the beds shall operate free for accommodation and consultation, while treatment expenses including laboratory services, medicines and supplies, if any, shall be charged from the patients on a not-for-profit basis.”

The Health Department had written a similar letter to private medical colleges in the Punjab in January.

“The functioning of teaching hospitals attached with the private sector medical and dental colleges would share the burden of the government for healthcare delivery,” the Health Department letter had read.

According to the Health Department record, there are 49 private hospitals in the Punjab affiliated with 28 medical colleges.

“The hospitals are supposed to provide free beds to 7,625 patients in all,” a department official said.

Private medical colleges The Express Tribune talked to insisted they were providing free beds to the poor.

Dr Sabir Ayaz, chief operating officer at the Farooq Teaching Hospital in Lahore, said the institution had allocated 50 per cent beds for the poor patients.

“We have three teaching hospitals and 60 per cent of the beds there are free. Among them, the Akhtar Saeed Trust Hospital, has all the 300 beds free for the patients.”

The Farooq Teaching Hospital is affiliated with the Akhtar Saeed Medical and Dental College.

Lahore Medical and Dental College Principal Majeed Chaudhry said private medical colleges were serving people better than government institutions.

“Ghurki Hospital provides medicines worth Rs10 million among the poor every month. A large number of patients are treated against a nominal fee each day. This is the duty of the state that is being borne by trust hospitals,” he said.

Mahmud said some private medical colleges had expressed reservations to the letter.

He said the rule was not being followed. Had they been following the rule, there would have been no need for writing this letter, he said.

“I lack power to implement this. I cannot revoke their affiliation for not following the rule,” he said.

Published in The Express Tribune, June 2nd, 2014. 

Controversy persists: New guardians suggested for PMDC


The Pakistan Medical and Dental Council (Amendment) Bill 2014 was unanimously approved by the National Assembly Standing Committee on Health on Wednesday and will be tabled in the NA soon.

If approved by parliament, the bill will authorise the ministry of national health services, regulation and coordination (NHSRC) to look after the council’s administrative issues.

Following the passage of the bill, the ministry of NHSRC will be responsible for constituting the PMDC management committee, and will hold free and fair elections at the council within 120 days.

Meanwhile, members of the committee expressed displeasure over the ministry’s inability to repatriate the registrar to his parent department. “He should have been terminated by now — instead, he was sent on forced leave,” the committee stated.  If the ministry continues to show such a non-serious attitude, many of the committee members will resign, they said.

Moreover, members of the committee including Dr Nisar Ahmed Jatt, Dr Zulfiqar Ali Bhatti and Dr Muhammad Azhar Khan Jadoon asked the ministry about its progress in resolving PMDC’s issues.

In response to the earlier question, State Minister for NHSRC Saira Afzal Tarar said her ministry was not authorised to remove the registrar as that is Capital Administration and Development Division’s (CADD) duty. A letter has been written to the Establishment Division mentioning the committee’s reservations, she assured.

Jatt, however, was of the view that the only way this system can be rid of corrupt people is to throw them out.

The committee also expressed concern over threats of imposition of travel restrictions on Pakistan due to the inadequate efforts in eradicating polio.

Although the chances of travel restrictions being imposed are high, said Tarar, the Pakistan government is trying to persuade the international community to refrain from taking this step.

Published in The Express Tribune, May 1st, 2014.

Forged and fake: PMDC officers accused of ‘deceiving’ MNAs


The Ministry of National Health Services, Regulations and Coordination has written to the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) asking them to register a case against some officers, officials and beneficiaries of the Pakistan Medical and Dental Council (PMDC) who, the ministry says, have used fake documentation to benefit them, The Express Tribune has learnt.

The application has been written to the FIA director general by Director Dr Baseer Khan Achakzai on behalf of the MNHSRC.

The application, a copy of which is available with The Express Tribune, was written on April 4. It states that Dr Achakzai has been directed to report a fraud case whereby those accused used a fake and forged document as genuine.

The application states that a (fake) gazette notification that appeared to have been published in the official gazette with the initials of PMDC registrar Dr Raja Amjad Mahmood, stated that Professor Masood Hameed had been elected president of the PMDC, Professor Syed Muhammad Awais the vice president, and Prof Ghulam Qadir Kazi, Prof Hafezullah, Dr Saadat Khan, Prof Abdus Salaam, Dr Khurshid Ahmad Nasim and Prof Azam Yousifani as members of the PMDC’s executive committee. The notification was issued by Dr Asim Hussain and submitted before the standing committee and its sub-committee in the National Assembly on January 28. The standing committee and sub-committee on the National Health Services, Regulations and Coordination ordered verification of the authenticity of the notification from the Printing Corporation of Pakistan Press, Karachi.

The letter states that the Printing Corporation of Pakistan manager informed the National Assembly that the gazette notification had not been printed by them.

He also sent a copy of the original printed gazette notification.

The beneficiaries and PMDC officers and officials did not deny the fake gazette notification and vehemently defended it before the standing committee on February 13, the application states.

The Ministry of NHSRC shall register a case against the beneficiaries, the so-called office bearers, president, vice president, and members of the PMDC’s executive committee and other officials of the PMDC who tried passing off a fake gazette notification as a genuine one to cheat and wilfully deceive the parliament, the federal government and the public and for occupying offices illegally, the application states.

The application also mentions that PCP Headquarters also formed an enquiry committee to probe into the matter which concluded that the notification showed by PMDC officials was not proper and was not part of the official gazette notification printed by the Karachi Press on January 1 as per the record.

“The PMDC management and the beneficiaries by using this forged non genuine Gazette notification have wilfully and knowingly defrauded the public at large, the State, the Parliament, official functionaries, national and international organisations and institutions and occupied offices of PMDC, exercising powers without any legal authority. So a case may be kindly registered against the beneficiaries, Registrar, PMDC, PMDC and the Deputy Registrar and other officials involved in using non genuine document as genuine for the purpose of cheating and wilful deceit for their own benefit and must be processed against as per laws,” the application states.

“The case is in knowledge of all the high ups including the Prime Minister’s Secretariat and those involved in it will be brought to justice,” said a senior official at the ministry.

PMDC Dr Raja Amjad Mahmood refused to comment on the issue. “I don’t want to comment on this issue,” he said when contacted and told about the Ministry’s application to FIA for registering an FIR against the PMDC.

Published in The Express Tribune, April 13th, 2014.

Doctors want to abolish PMDC body


The Pakistan Medical Association reiterated its demand to abolish the Pakistan Medical and Dental Council (PMDC) in the light of the recommendations of the standing committee on the National Health Services, Regulations and Coordination.

PMA leaders said that the PMDC’s body considers itself so powerful that they didn’t even obey orders of the courts. “The standing committee decided last December to abolish this body but nothing happened,” said Dr Mirza Ali Azhar. “We demand fresh elections within 100 days by an independent and professional committee,” demanded Dr Azhar at the PMA House on Wednesday.

Dr Azhar said that the meeting had decided that the NHSRC would take disciplinary action against the members who attend illegal meetings of the PMDC. “A case will be registered against the president, vice-president and members of the executive committee,” he said. He said that the ministry will declare all decisions of the present body as null and void.

Published in The Express Tribune, March 6th, 2014.

Who will blink first?: Students bemoan lack of recognition from PMDC


A protest by house officers and students of the dental department at Ayub Medical College (AMC) ran into its third day on Wednesday.

Protesters have been boycotting duties to express their disappointment over the delay in registration and recognition of reserved seats at the department by the Pakistan Medical and Dental Council (PMDC).

Around a decade and a half ago, at the launch of the dental college at AMC, the medical and dental council had approved 25 seats for dental students, out of which 15 were to be reserved for students applying on open merit and the rest reserved for quota-based applications.

According to officials at the college, during Awami National Party’s (ANP) provincial government, the health department had increased the number of quota-based seats bringing the total seats for dental students from 25 to 51.This, however, lacked an approval from the PMDC.

Despite several warnings issued by PMDC, the college in defiance of those notices had admitted 51 students up until last year’s session. As a consequence, and handicapped by policy, PMDC denied recognition to 26 students from all such batches.

Two classes of students at the dental department have graduated since then. More than 50 students were denied recognition as students and later registration as dental practitioners by the council, which is mandatory for qualified dentists.

Currently, sources revealed, over 200 students are taking classes at the college without having attained recognition from the PMDC. Annoyed at the council’s persistent denial, house officers and students first refused duty on Monday.

On the third day of the demonstration, protesters marched around the administration block, carrying placards inscribed with slogans against the provincial government and the medical council. Protesters are demanding PMDC to extend its recognition to all unrecognised students, who were, after all, enrolled on the orders of the provincial government. They claim that the delay in recognition of these students and registration of those who have already graduated is putting their careers in jeopardy.

AMC Principal Dr Shahid Sultan was not available for comments. However, a teacher requesting anonymity confirmed reports that PMDC had in fact denied registration to all students and house officers who had either been enrolled or graduated beyond the PMDC-stipulated 25 seats.

The instructor also accused the provincial government for not having taken up the matter with the medical body. He believes delays can undermine futures of over 200 students and the other 50-plus graduates.

Ideally, he said, all medical colleges should be governed by the Higher Education Commission rather than the health department.

Tariq Jadoon, an office superintendent at the examination branch, also confirmed the report. However, he expressed hope that the provincial government will raise the matter with PMDC, but said it still might be a couple of months before the matter is resolved.

Published in The Express Tribune, February 20th, 2014.

NA panel to PMDC: ‘Revoke all recent decisions’


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.