Tag Archives: PMDC

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

LAHORE: 

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

KARACHI: 

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

ABBOTABAD: 

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’

ISLAMABAD: 

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.


PMDC investigation: 40 doctors, 19 medical colleges have fake registrations

ISLAMABAD: The Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) in its ongoing investigation has recently acquired documents from the Pakistan Medical and Dental Council (PMDC) pertaining to fake registration of doctors and fake medical colleges, it has been learnt. The agency was successful despite persistent efforts by some former council officials to disturb the process.

The ex-officials have made attempts to conceal most of the fake records’ files and have lodged First Information Reports against the council’s current deputy registrars, namely Shaista Faisal, Iqbal Khattak and Ahmed Hasan Hashmi in a bid to halt the process, according to a PMDC official requesting anonymity.

While speaking to The Express Tribune, the official confirmed that FIA and National Accountability Bureau (NAB) officials had paid multiple visits to the PMDC over the past week to investigate the council’s fake registration of doctors and medical colleges through available documents.

NAB officials have also conducted surprise visits to the medical colleges across the country with the PMDC’s help, he added.

The investigation centres around 19 medical colleges which were all registered over the course of a day, soon after the Health Ministry’s devolution under the 18th Amendment, said the official.

The registration process of these colleges was initiated with the approval of PMDC, whose registrar was Dr Ahmad Nadeem Akbar at the time, he said.

Two committees have also been constituted, by PMDC Administrator Dr Raja Amjad Mahmood and the National Health Services, Regulations and Coordination Ministry respectively to facilitate the investigation.

The official added that the police have registered cases against 40 fake doctors, three of whom are under FIA custody in Peshawar.

In the past month, the number of fake doctors is believed to have increased to 150, but as this hasn’t been confirmed, legal action cannot be taken against them.

When contacted, PMDC Spokesperson Jumma Mandokhel said that the council had already launched an investigation against the fake doctors and medical colleges and had invited NAB and FIA to assist with proceedings.

He said that Mahmood has directed all PMDC staffers to cooperate with NAB and FIA and provide them with any requested documents.

Published in The Express Tribune, July 11th, 2013.


No facilities: PMDC bans new admissions at Women Medical College

ISLAMABAD: 

The Pakistan Medical and Dental Council (PMDC)  has barred Women Medical College, Abbottabad from registering new students after it failed to overcome a shortage of teaching staff and provide basic facilities. The top medical regulatory body had already warned the college to conform to its criteria after carrying out a surprise inspection.

PMDC Spokesperson Jumma Mandokhail told The Express Tribune that in 2008, PMDC had refused to recognise NIMS as it did not comply with the council’s criteria. However, despite the subsequent denial of approval from PMDC, the college went ahead and had admitted about 390 students.

He said that in the past month, six private medical colleges have been barred from admitting students, namely Pak Red Crescent Medical and Dental College, Lahore, Al-Tibri Medical College, Karachi, Mohiuddin Islamic Medical College, Mirpur (AJK),Muhammad Medical College, Mirpurkhas, Abbottabad International Medical College and Women Medical College, Abbottabad.

“The colleges may resume admissions once they ensure the availability of required facilities for students.” There are 129 public and private sector medical colleges registered with the PMDC, however, over the last five years, there has been mushroom growth throughout the country, he said. “This is why the council carried out surprise inspections of medical colleges to check whether they fulfilled the criteria set by PMDC.” He added that Indus Medical College, Tando Muhammad Khan Sindh, Rahbar Medical College, Lahore and Faryal Medical College, Lahore are not recognised by PMDC.

In a related development, the Peshawar High Court (PHC) on Wednesday closed down NIMS Medical College, Abbottabad, endorsing PMDC’s decision. The PHC has directed that all students of NIMS be adjusted in private medical colleges under the supervision of PMDC within 15 days in line with all legal requirements.

In response to a writ petition submitted by students of the college, the PHC ordered that final-year students who were permitted by the court to appear in final year exams also be adjusted in private  medical colleges at the same level after verification of their documents by the PMDC. They will have to take their final exams at their new schools.

The court also ordered the formation of a committee consisting of representatives of all private institutions in the province, along with a PMDC representative. With the Khyber Medical University, Peshawar vice chancellor to serve as its chairman, the committee will adjust students and the college will be liable to reimburse all fees according to the receipts submitted by students.

Published in The Express Tribune, June 20th, 2013.


Ensuring high standards: PMDC takes action against shoddy medical colleges

ISLAMABAD: 

The Pakistan Medical and Dental Council (PMDC) has stopped seven private medical colleges from offering admissions after inspections revealed they were either short of faculty or lacked facilities.

This was stated by PMDC Administrator Dr Amjad Mehmood at a press conference on Saturday.

The seven colleges include Abbottabad International Medical College, Muhammad Medical College in Mirpur Khas, Mohiuddin Islamic Medical College in Mirpur, Azad Jammu and Kashmir, Al-Tibri Medical College in Karachi, Independent Medical College in Faisalabad, Rahbar Medical College and Faryaal Medical College, Lahore.

Mehmood said the colleges could resume admissions once they overcame tdeficiencies.

“The idea is not to shut them down but ensure better facilities.”

He said teaching hospitals have also been notified to strictly follow Regulation 17(6) of the Medical and Dental Institutions Regulations 2012 which requires teaching hospitals to operate 50 per cent of the hospital beds free-of-charge for accommodation and consultation.

He said the PMDC has removed 80 per cent of the experience certificate backlog and it is conducting a crackdown against quackery in Bhara Kahu, Tarlai and Tarnol with the help of the Islamabad Capital Territory administration. The council is also trying to follow-up on complaints filed against doctors for medical negligence.

Mehmood had earlier asked the Auditor General of Pakistan to conduct a five-year audit of PMDC. Around 83 observations about corruption during previous administrations including illegal registration of medical colleges, dubious recruitments and overspending on construction were noted in the audit, he said.

Published in The Express Tribune, May 26th, 2013.


PMDC managing director sent packing

ISLAMABAD: The caretaker government on Monday sacked the head of another public sector company, Pakistan Mineral Development Corporation, Brigadier (retd) Muhammad Khalid S Khokhar with immediate effect on the grounds of irregularities in his appointment.

The caretaker government has already removed heads of Oil and Gas Development Company (OGDC) and Government Holdings Private Limited (GHPL). Khokhar is the third head of a state-owned company, which comes under the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Resources, who has been sent packing. The Establishment Division has issued a notification in this regard.

Former prime minister Raja Pervez Ashraf had appointed Khokhar as managing director of PMDC in February this year allegedly by flouting laid-down procedures.

His appointment annoyed the petroleum ministry as it was believed that the ministry’s input was not sought for filling such an important slot. Earlier, the ministry gave advertisements for seeking applications from potential candidates for the post and had been in the process of short-listing the candidates. In the meantime, the prime minister made the appointment.

According to sources, the caretaker government is also likely to terminate the contract of Sui Northern Gas Pipelines Limited Managing Director Arif Hameed and Sui Southern Gas Company MD Zuhair Siddiqui before the new government takes over.

The Election Commission of Pakistan had also asked the caretaker government to immediately remove the heads of the two state-owned gas utilities, saying they might influence the polls through sanctioning gas development schemes. But they remained in place after the petroleum ministry argued that they were appointed according to the rules and procedures. “Now once again, a move is underway to remove them,” a source said.

Former premier Ashraf had extended Arif Hameed’s contract by a year, six months before its expiry. His term was due to end in September 2013, but it was extended until September next year.

Published in The Express Tribune, May 14th, 2013.

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Returning to traditional ways: ‘PMDC urged to register eastern medicine doctors’

BAHAWALPUR: 

Speakers at a conference on natural medicines on Monday urged the Pakistan Medical and Dental Council to register practitioners of eastern medicine to provide patients with an option to seek treatment the natural way.

The conference, titled The Future of the Natural Medicines in Pakistan, Opportunities and Challenges, was organised by the Islamia University of Bahawalpur (IUB) University College of Conventional Medicines in collaboration with the Higher Education Commission.

It was presided over by Vice-Chancellor Dr Muhammad Mukhtar. Prof Abdul Hannan, the Hamdard University vice chancellor, was also present.

Dr Mukhtar said that the IUB was the first university in the country to introduce a five-year Bachelor’s in Eastern Medicine and Surgery. He lauded the work of the University College of Conventional Medicines in promoting eastern medicines since its inception in 2000.

He said the college had been creating awareness among public about the benefits of traditional ways of treatment and the importance of herbal medicines.

He said the traditional ways of treatment had been gaining popularity. He cited use of green tea for cancer treatment as an example.

He stressed the need for improving quality of herbal and conventional medicines manufactured in Pakistan to maintain international standards and compete with international exporters.

He said there was great competition in the eastern medicine market. He said Pakistan’s exports [of these medicines] were $ 160 million per year. India, he said, was exporting more than $ 1 billion worth of herbal medicines a year.

Prof Hannan called for a joint effort for the promotion of eastern medicines in Pakistan. He also urged the government and universities to provide facilities to the aspiring researchers. He advised young doctors to promote conventional medicines.

Earlier, Dr Mukhtar said that the IUB had been effectively imparting quality education to the students and improving the economic conditions and promotion of technology in the south Punjab. He said the university focused on providing assistance to students on foreign scholarships and to study and research in the renowned educational institutes of the world.

An exhibition of herbal medicines was also organised on the campus by Qarshi University and Qarshi Industries.

Published in The Express Tribune, May 7th, 2013.


YDA wants judges on PMDC election body

LAHORE: 

Retired judges should be made part of the commission conducting the Pakistan Medical and Dental Council (PMDC) elections to ensure that they are free and fair, the Young Doctors Association (YDA) Punjab said on Saturday.

The YDA will launch a countrywide movement if the demand is not met and the elections are rigged, said YDA officials at a press conference at Jinnah Hospital.

Of the 42 PMDC seats up for election, the winners at 36 had already been decided through fraud, alleged Dr Shabbir Chaudhry of the YDA. He said that documents submitted alongside nomination papers by some candidates from the Punjab had been “deliberately misplaced” so that “favourites of the administration” could be elected unopposed at these seats.

He said that the interim executive committee of the PMDC was not supposed to participate in the elections, but four of its seven members had been elected unopposed, even though they had signed an undertaking that they would not take part in electoral activities.

The PMDC Act of 2012 states that a representative of the chief justice of Pakistan must be made part of the election committee, Dr Chaudhry said, but the chief justice’s nominee, Ghulam Rabbani, had not been included. The YDA Punjab urged the chief justice to take note of the situation, failing which the association would launch a countrywide movement, he said.

Published in The Express Tribune, May 5th, 2013.