Prof. Muhammad Aslam
Prof. Major General(R) Mohammad Aslam M.Phil, PhD, FCPS relinquished the charge of Vice Chancellor of University of Health Sciences Lahore on February 15, 2017 after completing his tenure of four years. He played his innings well and retired with dignity and respect. On the other hand it also exposed the incompetence and inefficiency of the Punjab Health Department which failed to find a Vice Chancellor to replace him as Prof. Junaid Sarfraz has been appointed as Acting Vice Chancellor. Ideally, the authorities should have set the process of VC’s replacement in motion about six months ago and selected someone for this coveted post. This adhoc arrangement will slow down the progress and development of the university to some extent and one hopes that this adhoc arrangements will not be too long.
Prof. Aslam can take credit of having brought about a qualitative change in the university, introducing a culture wherein each and every human being was given due respect. Merit was upheld and transparency ensured. It is a no mean achievement that during his tenure UHS was ranked the Best public sector medical university of the country for consecutive four years and stood amongst the Top Ten Universities of the country. He may not have obliged everyone who came to seek his help and assistance as he never interfered in the functioning of the examination department, admissions were always on merit but everyone was given due respect. UHS throughout his tenure remained a hub of academic activity. During these four years UHS is reported to have hosted ten international conference, seventy seven international seminars and lectures, 1215 workshops and numerous activities for faculty development in all the constituent and affiliated institutions of Punjab. Research culture was encouraged and promoted with the result that UHS scholars published 331 Impact Factor research papers and 1490 citations were made in the ISI Web of Knowledge from 2013-2016 with 19 h-index. As such UHS played a vital role in professional capacity building of the healthcare professionals. As VC UHS Prof. Aslam also ensured cordial and harmonious relationship with other institutions of higher learning and regulatory bodies like HEC, PM&DC, Punjab HEC, CPSP, PSF, KEMU, FJMU, Punjab Health Care Commission and Shaikh Zayed Hospital.
We in the Pakistan Association of Medical Editors (PAME) in particular are extremely grateful to Prof. Maj Gen. M. Aslam as it was his blessings that we were able to organize numerous Hands on Workshops for medical teachers and Training Courses of Medical Editors as he and the team he had developed were always very kind and receptive providing us all the needed facilities. PAME also organized two National Conferences at the UHS Campus during his tenure which were a great success in which his own and his other team members contribution was tremendous. For this we the members of the PAME will always remain indebted to him. His help and assistance has gone a long way in promoting the art of medical writing and scientific publishing in Pakistan.
Incidentally the first National Conference on Medical Editing was also organized in Pakistan under his leadership at Army Medical College when he was Principal of AMC. Again it was under his leadership as President of PAME that we were able to organize the EMMJ5 Medical Journals Conference at CPSP Karachi in December 2010 which attracted thirty four foreign delegates from eighteen countries. Prof. Aslam is a team player and knows the art of getting maximum out of each and every member of the team based on their competence and experience.
When he took over as Vice Chancellor of UHS, it had many court cases with a number of medical institutions. He tried to resolve most of them through discussions and negotiations. His yet another great achievement has been the formal affiliation of the adjacent Sheik Zayed Hospital with University of Health Sciences which is in the interest of both these institutions. Prof. Mohammad Aslam added yet another feather in the cap of UHS when he successfully negotiated and signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Islamic World Science Citation Center (ISC) formed with the approval of Ministers of Higher Education of all the Muslim countries and is located at Shiraz Iran. This MOU signed in October 2016 will pave the way for setting up a sub-office of ISC Iran at UHS providing lot of useful data on research output and publications in numerous fields including Medicine from the Muslim World. He took keen interest in renovation of the campus, expanding the teaching and training facilities available, encouraged all the affiliated medical and dental institutions to make maximum use of the facilities available, went out of the way to help and guide some of them get recognition from Pakistan Medical & Dental Council. His sincere advice and suggestions were always readily available whosoever wanted. Being extremely humble, he was easily accessible to everyone and everyone admired him for this unique quality. He also initiated development and construction work at the new campus of UHS at Kala Shah Kaku where the new Management Block and Boys Hostel are ready.
Prof. Maj. Gen. Mohammad Aslam brought with him rich administrative experience. Having served as Principal of Army Medical College, then Principal of Shifa College of Medicine and later Founder Vice Chancellor of Shifa Tameer-e-Millat University Islamabad when Shifa College of Medicine was upgraded as University. Now having successfully completed his tenure as Vice Chancellor of the biggest public sector medical university in the country, he has left his permanent imprints for many to follow. His interest in academics and rich administrative experience will be a great asset to any medical institution he decides to join. We wish him a prosperous future.
Tail Piece: Success comes to those who recognize and accept them.