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PMDC Ordinance 2019 withdrawn: Senate’s decision

ISLAMABAD: The government has decided to withdraw the Pakistan Medical and Dental Council (PMDC) Ordinance from the Senate to introduce an improved law free from any conflict of interest.

According to a representative of the Ministry of National Health Services, it is a matter of grave concern that the standard of medical education and practice in the country deteriorated owing to the wrong policies introduced by past governments.

This was recently highlighted at various levels including different international fora bringing a bad name to the country, he added.

It may be recalled that the PMDC Ordinance was introduced in the Senate by the government which was deliberated a few times in the relevant standing committee of the upper house.

Recently, several amendments were proposed during a meeting of the Senate Standing Committee on National Health Services.

These amendments required a deeper reflection so that an improved law could be introduced to achieve a higher standard of medical education and practice in the country.

It is in this context that the government has decided to withdraw the PMDC Ordinance from the Senate to introduce an improved law free of conflict of interest, machinations of vested interests, and any room for regulatory capture.

This decision is in line with the vision of Prime Minister Imran Khan to ensure good governance by strengthening institutions and firewalling them against vested interests, he added.

The President of Pakistan, Dr Arif Alvi, promulgated the ordinance on 5 January 2019. Under this ordinance, a 17-member council was formed to run the affairs of the council. Four members of the council were de-notified over having differences concerning the illegal decisions of the council.  

The PMA had already rejected the PMDC Ordinance 2019 under which this selected council was formed, which is in total violation of the PMDC Ordinance 1962.

The PMA has always stressed on making the PMDC an autonomous, independent, transparent, democratic, and vibrant body to look after the related issues democratically and transparently. Through this ordinance, we think that there will be no change in the affairs of the PMDC, and it will remain a continuation of the mess, which we have witnessed for decades.

September 3, 2019

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