PMA rejects PMC, demand revival of autonomous, independent, democratically elected PM&DC


PMA rejects PMC, demand revival 
of autonomous, independent, 
democratically elected PM&DC

KARACHI: Pakistan Medical Association (C) organized a meeting at PMA House on November13th2019 to discuss the newly promulgated PMC Ordinance and the dissolution of PM&DC. It was attended by representatives of PIMA, Dental Surgeons besides many other stake holders besides PMA office bearers. Those who spoke on the occasion included Prof. Dr. Syed Tipu Sultan, Ex-President PMA Centre, Dr. Nisar Shah, Prof. Dr. Nasir Ali Khan, Secretary General, Pakistan Dental Association, Dr. Omar Imtiaz Hasan, CEO, OMI Hospital, Dr. Atif Hafeez Siddiqui and Prof. Sohail Akhtar from (PIMA), Dr. Minhaj Qidwai, Sindh Health Care Commission, Dr. Shehla Naseem, Secretary General, College of Family Medicine Pakistan, Dr. Irfan Ahmed, and Dr. Tahir Sheikh, Pakistan Association of Plastic Surgeons.

Office bearers of PMA (C) addressing a press conference at PMA House Karachi
recently to reject the PMC Ordinance.

After in depth deliberations, the meeting rejected the PMC Ordinance and called for the revival of Pakistan Medical & Dental Council which should function as an autonomous, independent, democratically elected body to monitor the medical profession besides regulating the health services and medical education. The participants agreed that there were lot of problems with the PM&DC but opined that the solution lies in improving its functioning rather than dissolution which will have far reaching consequences for the doctors from Pakistan. The young doctors in particular will be hit hard that is why they are rightly protesting against this.

The meeting then unanimously passed the following resolution”

  1. “Stakeholder’s Summit held on 13th November 2019 at PMA House Karachi, presided over by Dr. Ikram Ahmed Tunio, President Pakistan Medical Association, conducted by Dr. Qazi Wasiq, Treasurer PMA Centre, unanimously resolved that we categorically reject the Pakistan Medical Commission Ordinance and the Medical Tribunal Ordinance 2019. According to this ordinance all the council members will be nominated by the Prime Minister of Pakistan. It is in total violation of PMDC Ordinance 1962 in which the composition of the council will be some nominations and rest of the members ELECTED by the doctors of the country. Undemocratic maneuvers from a democratically elected government are not expected.
  2. The Root of the Medical Education, registration and licensing of medical doctors in the country is Pakistan Medical & Dental Council (PM&DC) so the name of the regulatory body should remain the same i-e, PM&DC.
  3. This is an undemocratic law, the Democratic Government should have consulted the Stake holders first and after developing a consensus the bill must have tabled in the Parliament, so that all the political parties could give their proposals and a unanimous legislation would have taken place. By this mechanism a legislation, would have been possible for improving the healthcare and medical education.
  4. There is no representation from Public Sector medical colleges and universities; even there is no representation from the provinces, no representation of Family Physicians. Hence it is a discriminatory ordinance.
  5. Non-professionals who do not have any stake in medical profession and do not have understanding of it have become members and office bearers of PMC.
  6. The new ordinance has been promulgated to provide greater autonomy to the private medical colleges. They can fix their tuition fee and other charges at their own, can select a university of their own choice for affiliation and can set their own criteria for hiring faculty.
  7. Conflict of Interests: The ordinance states that the medical colleges will be controlled by their respective universities. This would cause a conflict of interest because universities get funding from colleges and in many cases universities own these colleges.
  8. According to the ordinance, the students who pass their MBBS or BDS exam will have to pass another exam, National Licensing Exam (Exit Exam), to start their house Job. This shows that you do not have trust over the medical education system even through this new ordinance. The other problem with decision will be a mushroom growth of coaching centers in the country. In the name of preparing the students for Exit Exams they will charge hefty fees from already overburdened parents.
  9. Dubious Overseas Student Migration Policy: A flood gate has been opened for Students studying in China, Russia etc., who have not been able to get admission on merit anywhere in Pakistan, to migrate to Pakistani medical/ dental schools setting aside any regulatory controls.
  10. The Medical Tribunal Ordinance is a discriminatory law which aims at speedy trial and it denies the right of medical professionals for going into appeal in high courts. The right of appeal has been restricted to Supreme Court only. Powers of the Tribunal of fining up-to 50 million rupees and maximum punishment of seven years imprisonment is actually a punishment of becoming a doctor in this country.
  11. The so-called National Licensing Examination (NLE) is being implemented abruptly and without any professional preparation in contrast to the practices of the world. Every Medical / Dental graduate will have to pass NLE twice. Instead of these ill planed examinations the training and education at medical colleges should be med stronger to produce competent doctors.”