PMDC, PMC, PMDC, PMC- A mere game of musical chairs?

-By MH

When the National Assembly recently passed a bill to replace Pakistan Medical and Dental Council (PMDC) with the Pakistan Medical Council (PMC), many students who were applying in Medical and Dental colleges knew that change is coming. Though the development was not just limited to the fresh aspirants but for the undergraduates and postgraduates alike.

One of the significant difference introduced by PMC was the promulgation of National Licencing Examinations (NLE), which has been made mandatory to get a practice license along with the abolishment of Central Induction Policy (CIP), to name a few.

But the question here arises, was this change even necessary?

NLE exams have been the norm to obtain a licence for practice by Foreign Medical and Dental graduates, but for undergraduates who were already enrolled and graduated from Pakistani medical and dental colleges would a new thing. Those who have cleared the first part of FCPS are also required to pass the NLE.

Though this sounds beneficial to raise the standard of medical and dental colleges, it comes with a high cost which only students had to bear. The tiring admission procedures and the exam fees that go with it will ultimately shift on the poor parents of students.

Similarly, abolishing the Central Induction Policy (CIP) will have its setback. Through CIP, students need to give one test, after which merit list was prepared and students were offered admission according to his/her merit. But after no CIP policy, thanks to PMC, students will have to get prospectus of different colleges and apply for admission which will cost them extra while entry will also be in ambiguity. Thus further burdening students.

PMC and PMDC-Change of letters or priorities?

Prime Minister Imran Khan said in his, now historic speech that PMC will alleviate the standard of medical and dental colleges to the international level.

The ‘new’ policies introduced by PMC has been nothing but a disappointment for many medical and dental students who aspired to be the future health professionals. But instead of holding the actual stakeholders accountable, it’s the students who are being further cornered. Whether it’s the PMC or PMDC, it seems only the letters have been added or subtracted. Students who are the future of a nation have never been given priority.

Its high time that the stakeholders of medical and dental fraternity stop the game of musical chairs and work on the betterment of colleges, instead of changing alphabets.

September 24, 2020

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Dental is part of the Medical News Group of publications which in 1968 became the pioneer of medical journalism in Pakistan. Medical News is the only periodical in Pakistan which has 3 simultaneous editions from Karachi, Islamabad and online.

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