By Our Staff Reporter
ISLAMABAD– A meeting of the parliamentary body, recently discussed the Issues around PMDC’s refusal to register over 500 Pakistanis with foreign medical qualifications. This has led to a controversy, where the graduates have refused to appear for the requisite equivalence exam. The studenst demand that they should be exempted from this exam.
According to media reports; The meeting, however, failed to offer a solution to the issues being faced by the foreign graduates. Since returning after graduating from foreign medical universities more than a year ago, the students have been urging the Pakistan Medical and Dental Council (PMDC) to allow them to practice, but the regulator has flatly said that; the doctors would first need to appear in an internal test required for registration.
The medical graduates, on the other hand, say that they were issued no-objection certificates with written assurance from the PMDC that they will be allowed to practice in Pakistan without undergoing entry tests.
At the Senate Standing Committee on Cabinet Secretariat meeting, chaired by Senator Kalsoom Parveen, around a dozen medical graduates from Xinjiang Medical University, Xi’an Jiaotong University School of Medicine and some graduates from Cuban and Malaysia universities were also present.
“The situation at the PMDC is pathetic…we are not letting these graduates practice at hospitals when the country and most educational institutes are facing terrorism threats,” she said.
“The PMDC is being run without a head, while the health ministry and secretary are not accepting its status… where is [the PMDC] heading,” she asked.
She reiterated that the committee will meet the prime minister to solve the issue and to reign in the PMDC’s misuse of power.
A PMDC law officer replied that after the passage of the PMDC’s Amended Ordinance in 2012, their degrees were not approved. To this, Law and Justice Draftsperson Azam Warraich commented that the orders was issued in 2012 could not be applied on graduates from 2009.
The medical graduates said that they were suffering because of PMDC’s “stubbornness”.
“We spent one extra year and paid double fee as compared to other varsities of China and we were not supposed to appear in the entry test,” said Farhan Ali.
The students said that they also moved the Islamabad High Court, which decided against them. On appeal, the decision was upheld by the Supreme Court.
Senator Rubina Khalid told the students that they should not have approached the courts as their hands are now tied. Parveen said that a next meeting will be called and all stakeholders will be invited to find a solution to the issue. She also lambasted the National Testing Service, calling it a fraud and a source of minting money.
“There is no audit of the body… who are the examiners, what is the testing criteria and why the results are issued late unlike other international tests,” she said, claiming that the results of some tests conducted on behalf of the FIA, EOBI and others have yet to be announced, despite a passage of more than one year.