LAHORE – Another threat to the “National Status” of the Pakistan Medical & Dental Council (PMDC) is expected to arise, due to the proposal being discussed by the Punjab government to establish the “Punjab Medical and Dental Council”.
According to reports; The Sindh government has already established the “Sindh Medical and Dental Council (SM&DC)”, challenging the federal authority of the only medical regulatory body in Pakistan for practitioners and students of medicine and dentistry.
An senior official stated that the proposal for the PMDC’s devolution to the provincial level was floated by the health department to ‘twist arms’ of the Council, after it issued “de-recognition notices” to some public sector medical universities and colleges of Punjab on the pretext of faculty shortage and other deficiencies.
Established under the Pakistan Medical & Dental Council Ordinance 1962 as a body corporate, PMDC is known and respected worldwide. It was also a part of the International Community of Medical Regulatory Authorities.
The official said the Council’s notices, issued in “one go” to many public sector medical institutions, brought authorities of both the Punjab government and the PM&DC on the verge of conflict.
He said the health department first analyzed contents of de-recognition notices and finally observed that the PM&DC was communicating to the institute in a threatening tone which would not be tolerated. “This has forced the health authorities to give response to the Council in a same way.”
“We have discussed in a few meetings the establishment of the Punjab Medical & Dental Council in line with the SM&DC,” Health Secretary Jawad Rafique Malik has confirmed. The formation of SM&DC had opened an option for other provinces to follow suit. Though the proposal is in its initial stage, the health department is taking it serious in the larger interest of the medical institutions and students, he said.
The official said; the health department knew well that some medical institutions were facing shortage of faculty but the issue was not as much chronic as was being portrayed by the PM&DC.
PM&DC Registrar Dr Raja Amjad Mahmood refused to comment on the issue.
Some experts believe that if the scheme is materialized in Punjab after Sindh, it will prove disastrous for the entire medical education in the country. The PM&DC’s closure would be taken as irreparable loss to the standard of medical education in Pakistan, they said.