King Edward Medical University and University of Health Sciences get permanent VCs at last


King Edward Medical University and
University of Health Sciences get
permanent VCs at last
Prof. Faisal Masood assumes charge as VC of KEMU 
while Maj.Gen. Prof. Aslam takes over command of UHS

From our correspondent

LAHORE: King Edward Medical University (KEMU) and University of Health Sciences (UHS) have at last got permanent Vice Chancellors. The search committee appointed for the selection of Vice Chancellors had short listed six names after detailed interviews. Based on their recommendations, Chief Minister Punjab approved the nomination of Prof.Faisal Masood as Vice Chancellor of KEMU while Prof. Maj. Gen. (Retd) Mohammad Aslam was nominated as Vice Chancellor of University of Health Sciences. They assumed their charge last week.
Prof. Faisal Masood is a renowned physician with special interest in diabetes. He has earlier served at King Edward Medical College and till recently he was Principal of an undergraduate medical college in Lahore. Prof.M. Aslam was Prof. of Physiology at Army Medical College Rawalpindi from where he retired as Principal. Then he joined Shifa College of Medicine as Principal at Islamabad and later assumed the charge of Vice Chancellor when Tameer-e-Millat University was established and Shifa became a constituent college of this university. It may be mentioned here that he was also selected for Vice Chancellorship of UHS when earlier interviews were held and he was one of the candidates who was short listed for this coveted post.
King Edward Medical College is one of the oldest medical institutions in this part of the world which enjoyed a great name and fame. However, for the last many years ever since it was upgraded as a University, it has remained in the news. After the retirement of Prof.Mumtaz Hassan the founder Vice Chancellor who played a key role in getting it the university status, Prof. Zafarullah was named as the new VC. However, since his retirement, no permanent VC could be appointed and Prof. Asad Aslam had been working as acting Vice Chancellor. Over the years KEMC has suffered a lot for various reasons and an institution where it was every medical teacher’s life time wish to be on its faculty, many teaching jobs remained vacant as not many were willing to serve their in the changed circumstances. It did affect teaching, training and also stalled its progress and development.
A very vocal and influential group of KEMCOLIANS which includes many former Principals, wish that King Edward Medical College must retain its identity under the King Edward Medical University and they have been running a campaign for this. However another group wishes to retain the present set up. In fact it was a mistake not to have a separate post of Principal when it was upgraded as university as no such provision was kept in the charter to ensure total control. We as Pakistanis seldom wish to work as a team and think on individual lines which is the route cause of many problems that we face today. The job, duties and function of a Vice Chancellor is to give leadership with a vision, plan for progress and development of the institution concentrating on production of knowledge through research and postgraduate medical education. However, if he degrades himself to the level of a Principal of an undergraduate medical college, it is definitely a prescription for a sure disaster. The result is before all of us. While other medical universities in the country have made lot of progress, faculty members at KEMU and those at Mayo Hospital kept on fighting for many years. However, in the recent past VC of KEMU Prof. Asad Aslam and Medical Supdt. of Mayo Hospital Dr. Zahid Pervez had very cordial relations with the result that some development works could be undertaken. Prof. Faisal Masood is an intelligent physician and one hopes he will tackle this issue of medical college having its separate entity intelligently so that the university could be put on the road to progress without any hindrances. Faculty will have to be strengthened, research and postgraduate medical education given new impetus and leaving the day to day affairs of medical students to the Principal. KEMU has already lost enough time and now when it has got a permanent VC appointed on merit, let this institution regain its lost glory, image and prestige for which each and every faculty member will have to work hard as a team.
On the other hand University of Health Sciences also did not have a smooth sailing from the very first day when it was established. Basically this university was created for the rehabilitation of a friend of the then President and who never had cordial relations with a vast majority of the medical profession. It had neither its own building, nor hospital or any institution. No efforts were made to build its own campus otherwise after so many years it should have been self sufficient institution. A large number of undergraduate medical colleges, both in the public as well as private sector are affiliated with this university. It also faces numerous problems and handling all those will not be an easy task. Fortunately Prof.Maj.Gen. Aslam is a good administrator. A thorough gentleman, an educationist with basic sciences background, he has efficiently run and managed both Army Medical College as well as Shifa College of Medicine and later Tameer-e-Millat University. Another good thing about him is that he is a team player and believes in sharing responsibilities. As Principal of Army Medical College he took the initiative of organizing the first ever National Conference on Medical Editing which attracted many invited guest speakers from abroad as well. With the active support, help and collaboration of his medical editor colleagues, he was able to put up a wonderful show which gave an impetus to the art of medical writing, medical editing and scientific publishing. He has served as Editor of Armed Forces Medical Journal. When Pakistan Association of Medical Editors (PAME) was formed, he was elected as its founder President. Again with team effort, he was Chairman of the organizing committee which held the 5EMMJ (Fifth Eastern Mediterranean Medical Journals) Conference hosted by PAME at Karachi in the Year 2010. It attracted about three dozen foreign delegates from fourteen countries of the EMRO Region and again went a long way in promoting the art of scientific publishing in Pakistan.
He hails from Dera Ghazi Khan, Southern Punjab and it must be a great honour and privilege for him to head this university. One hopes he will be able to put the UHS on road to progress and prosperity taking everyone along with him. How these two universities function from now onward will be watched with interest by all those concerned.