LAHORE : Almost 750 medical consultants are bearing the brunt of a tussle prevailing over the accreditation system between the College of Physicians and Surgeons Pakistan (CPSP) and the Pakistan Medical and Dental Council (PMDC), while the Punjab Public Service Commission has clearly refused to evaluate their qualifications for for appointments as senior registrar. These consultants have already cleared their specialization exams from certain institutes, which are not recognized by the PMDC.
According to recent reports, the Punjab Public Service Commission is currently interviewing doctors for the posts of senior registrar and the eligibility criteria for it includes specialization in the faculty they apply for. 750 consultants passed their Fellow of College of Physicians and Surgeons exams between 2012 and 2013 from institutes not registered with the PMDC.
After the PMDC Act was passed in 2012, the council de-recognized several CPSP training institutions, while the doctors who had trained at those institutions were not registered by the PMDC.
PMDC Registrar – Dr Raja Amjad Mahmood stated in the media that; The Section 16 of the PMDC Act 2012 empowered the PMDC to inspect medical training institutes in the country. “We canceled the affiliation of several institutes after that and asked them to get re-recognised, after another PMDC inspection.” He said the Supreme Court also ordered the CPSP to get their training institutes re-inspected but they did not. “It is about maintaining their monopoly. They want to train doctors, give exams and issue degrees themselves…but they [the CPSP] need to accept checks and balances in the system.”
An official of the Ministry of Health has also stated under anonymity that: “Several people have raised reservations that the CPSP has been distributing honorary fellowships to doctors in order to increase its followers so that they would vote for them in the coming elections.”
Dr Salman Kazmi of the Young Doctors Association Pakistan, in a letter to the PPSC, asked the body not to reject candidates on this basis. “The PPSC rejected 70 consultants who weren’t registered with the PMDC recently. But these doctors have passed their FCPS examinations,” he said. “I have requested the PPSC to reconsider is policy and allow these candidates to apply for these posts…they have passed their specialization exams, they have not been registered simply because of an ongoing tussle between two institutions and shouldn’t suffer because of that,” Kamzi said.
PMDC Registrar Dr Mahmood said that the PMDC was simply following rules. “The CPSP should also follow rules…I, however, will do my best to solve the issue so that 750 consultants don’t suffer just because they are not registered with us,” he said.
The CPSP spokesman said that the CPSP had granted honorary degrees to four fellows only. He said they didn’t confer honorary degrees on “just anyone”. “The CPSP fellowship has legal standing…when international institutes recognise our standards and training, why doesn’t a national institute do the same?” He questioned. This raises another question. Doctors who do their FRCS from UK are registered by the PMDC, even though it doesn’t inspect the facilities where the doctors get training in UK. “We maintain our standards and should be allowed to work as per our charter,” he said.