Tag Archives: PMDC

Checking quackery : PMDC to move against unapproved colleges

ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan Medical and Dental Council (PMDC) has warned of action against unapproved medical and dental colleges operating in various cities.

The council says all doctors are required to display their PMDC registration certificate prominently at the place of practice.

The registered medical or dental practitioners having only basic medical or dental qualification are not authorised to carry out specialised procedures.

According to PMDC officials, only doctors with additional medical or dental postgraduate qualifications will be authorised to practice as specialists in their respective fields.

They said PMDC will conduct surprise inspections to check implementation of its orders, adding that these measures have been taken in order to check quackery.

They said in future all doctors with postgraduate degrees will have to mention so in their PMDC registration certificates along with their degree awarding and training institutes.

Officials said all postgraduate students will have to provide a transcript of their training in order to ensure they have professional knowledge of the specialty and requisite skills to carry out procedures.

The council will also issue a licence for practicing medicine for which all doctors will have to avail mandatory credit hours of Continuous Medical Education (CME) to stay updated with the new medical technologies and innovations.

Doctors using unregistered degrees or additional qualification of any specialty with their names which are not registered with PMDC will be dealt with strict disciplinary action.

PMDC officials said all registered medical and dental practitioners have been advised to adhere to the regulations.

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


Coercive action: SHC restrains PMDC from acting against JPMC chiefs

KARACHI: 

The Sindh High Court (SHC) has restrained the Pakistan Medical and Dental Council (PMDC) authorities from taking any ‘coercive’ action against Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Center (JPMC)’s joint executive director Dr Seemin Jamali and executive director Prof Tasnim Ahsan.

Headed by Chief Justice Maqbool Baqar, the bench also issued notice to the PMDC president, the provincial health secretary and the Jinnah Sindh Medical University (JSMU) vice-chancellor to file comments.

The petitioners, Dr Jamali and Prof Ahsan, had challenged in the court the show-cause notices served on them by the PMDC management on September 27. They said that notices directed them to appear before PMDC’s disciplinary committee to explain why strict disciplinary action may not be initiated against them for not cooperating with the PMDC’s team during inspection of facilities at the JSMU. They were accused of creating hurdles in the performance of the statutory duty by the PMDC team.

The petitioners argued that the JPMC is not affiliated with the university or its constituent hospital but they are being asked to facilitate the inspection team in carrying out their function, adding that the notices were served to them a day before the inspections.

They alleged that the PMDC team had carried out inspection on September 25 in disregard of the related laws. The show-cause notice is unconstitutional and based on mala fide intention of the respondents who want to remove the petitioners from their posts illegally, the lawyer alleged, pleading the court to suspend the same.

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


Procedural delay: Medical college students demand PMDC recognition

DERA GHAZI KHAN: 

Dozens of students of Ghazi Khan Medical College on Tuesday staged a protest demonstration against the delay in the registration of the institute with the Pakistan Medical and Dental Council (PMDC).

The students boycotted classes and took out a rally from the college to the commissioner’s office.

The protesters said that classes had started at the college in 2010, but it had not been recognised yet. “Our careers are in jeopardy as the PMDC has yet to recognise the college,” said Muneeb Abbas, a student. He said that the college was also short of staff.

“Most senior teachers have been transferred,” another student, Muhammad Shiraz said.

The Express Tribune has learnt that Dr Ghulam Mustafa (professor of surgery), Dr Muhammad Aslam (professor of ENT), Dr Samina (professor of pharmacology), Dr Lubna (professor of gynecology), Dr Altaf Qadir (associate professor), Dr Shaukat Hussain (associate professor of surgery), Dr Nasir Gopang (assistant professor of medicine) and Dr Muhammad Ishaq (assistant professor of surgery) have been transferred from the college within the last six months.

There are only two professors (anatomy and bio-chemistry) still teaching at the college.

Demonstrators are teaching in place of professors and assistant professors in forensic and pharmacology departments.

Bilal Afzal, another protesting student, said that the government had set up medical colleges in Gujranwala, Sialkot, Dera Ghazi Khan and Sahiwal.

“All the new medical colleges, except ours, have been recognised by the PMDC,” he said.

The protesters appealed to Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif to take notice of the delay in the registration of the college. They also demanded that the college be affiliated with the University of Health Sciences and not the Ghazi University.

Some Young Doctors Association leaders also participated in the protest.

Ghazi Khan Medical College Principal Dr Shamim Hassan told The Express Tribune that the college had met all the conditions set by the PMDC for registration.

“Our registration was going to be approved by the PMDC when its governing body was dissolved three months ago,” he said.

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


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

HYDERABAD: 

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

ISLAMABAD: 

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

LAHORE: 

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

LAHORE: 

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

ISLAMABAD: 

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

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.