Pakistan Medical Commission (PMC) added multiple foreign medical universities to the blacklist, as per local media. Consequently, these institutes’ degrees will not be valid for acquiring a license to work in Pakistan.
by Dr Syeda Rehma Hasan
This decision led to protests outside the PMC in Islamabad recently. They were organised by the Foreign Medical Graduates (FMGs). Therefore, the protestors argued that this ruling does not make sense since the World Health Organization (WHO) has already recognised them.
The issue of foreign medical universities blacklist by PMC
Hundreds of protestors gathered around the PMC building for not accepting FMGs as doctors. According to Chairman FMGs, Dr Zeeshan Noor, they followed Pakistan and Medical Council (PMDC) when they attended university abroad. As the day progressed, protests escalated and led to the disruption of traffic. The protestors blocked main roads including the Srinagar Highway. Police had to use water cannons to disperse the protestors, as they hurled stones at them. The leadership of FMGs was arrested too but let go later on.
Divide and rule
It was not long before the protestors split into two groups. One of them decided to call it a day, while the other group wanted to continue demonstrating. They chose not to move until the PMC met their demands by removing universities from blacklist. The latter even called them out for deciding to withdraw.
Protestors complained that authorities did not take them seriously and that no one came forward to solve it
Reaching a settlement
Above all, this no-compromising situation has put the future of numerous medical students at stake. The idea of putting them on a restricted blacklist by PMC is beyond understanding. Such an action has left graduates hanging in the air. It is essential to resolve the issue at its earliest to diffuse the situation. FMGs and PMC were in talks to reach a middle ground. The PMC also confirmed that they would carry out further assessments and announce their website and social media platform results.
Summing it up
In conclusion, the regulatory body of PMC should not take this matter lightly, and the authorities should come up with a reasonable policy. It seems to be an impulsive decision that hasn’t been thought through. The FMGs have the right to protest peacefully, and the officials of PMC should hear them. The use of force on young doctors is condemnable. Every effort must be made to settle the dispute without further ado.
– The author is a contributing writer and Canadian correspondent at Dental News Pakistan and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org