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Another controversy crops up at PMDC

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ISLAMABAD- The Pakistan Medical and Dental Council (PMDC) is courting controversy yet again as the government considers the appointment of an administrator for its executive council even though there was no provision in the rules for such a position.

A few days back, the council had been criticised for the registration of 19 medical colleges in one day.

“The administrator will be at the PMDC, once the summary is approved by the office of the Prime Minister and the ordinance of the PMDC is amended for the post of administrator,” according to a senior member of the government.

The PMDC is the highest body regulating the field of medicine: it grants licences to doctors for practice, registers medical and dental colleges in public and private sectors, and deals with cases of negligence. It comprises an executive council and an executive committee.

According to PMDC website, the council with seven members is a supreme body and takes all policy decisions, and its elections are held every four years.

“Since the council was dissolved on Aug 12, 2012, the elections must be held before Aug 2013 but due to infighting within the executive council, they have been delayed,” said another official at the Law and Justice Division.

He added: “It’s not just the elections of the council but a number of other factors like the alleged corruption which took place during the registration of 19 medical colleges in a single day.”

The controversy is deepened by rumoured clashes between Adviser to the Prime Minister Dr Asim Hussain and Dr Syed Sibatul Husnain, the executive council president, and Dr Nadeem Akbar, the PMDC registrar.

According to a source, “It was Dr Hussain who approached different offices in the government to take action against the members of the executive council of the PMDC since it had failed to hold the elections because of rifts within the executive members,”

“Dr Hussain has accused Dr Akbar of meddling with the electioneering process of the council and has had differences with Dr Husnain as well,” the source said.

However, the official at regulations division said soon after learning about the likely appointment of administrator, the PMDC had announced elections for the council.

When Dr Firdaus Ashiq Awan, the federal minister for services and regulations, was approached for her comments, she replied: “We have forwarded a summary to appoint an administrator at the PMDC and all this is being done within the legal framework.”Similarly, the services and regulation division’s secretary Imtiaz Inayat Elahi also came to Dr Awan’s rescue and said: “The federal government is not taking over the PMDC. Instead, our ministry received complaints relating to failure of the executive council for holding elections of the council. The government has jumped in to facilitate transparent and quick elections of the council in a short period of time without any fuss.”

Secretary Elahi maintained: “The Ministry of Law and Justice has given its consent to our proposal and the summary is now pending with the office of the Prime Minister to appoint an administrator, which will be an interim arrangement.”

The secretary claimed that once the elections of the PMDC council “are organised in a successful manner, the administrator will leave his position and the council and the executive council will run the business.” s of age, sex, and modifiable risk factors (e.g., smoking and sexual behavior) on the incidence and duration of oral HPV infection.”

They conclude:

“…vaccine efficacy against oral HPV infection is unknown, and therefore vaccination cannot currently be recommended for the primary prevention of oropharyngeal cancer. Given an analysis of U.S. cancer registry data recently projected that the number of HPV-positive oropharyngeal cancers diagnosed each year will surpass that of invasive cervical cancers by the year 2020, perhaps such vaccine trials are warranted. Such trials could inform ongoing discussions regarding the benefits of HPV vaccination for males, given the higher prevalence of oral HPV infection demonstrated here as well as higher incidence of HPV-positive OSCC among men.”

In an associated report, Hans P. Schlecht, M.D., M.M.Sc., of the Drexel University College of Medicine, Philadelphia, explains:

“Future research will need to identify the natural history of HPV-related oropharyngeal dysplastic lesions and evaluate potential screening methods to detect oropharyngeal dysplasia prior to invasion. Successful screening measures such as a Papanicolaou test, HPV polymerase chain reaction testing, or both may be daunting to achieve, but there is meaningful hope that prevention efforts will ameliorate the effects of HPV-related oropharyngeal cancer.”

February 9, 2013

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