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Vested interest behind show-cause notice to PMDC chief

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DN Report

 

ISLAMABAD – Merely two or three months ahead of the next general elections, the PPP government is all set to take over the all-important Pakistan Medical and Dental Council (PMDC) and has issued a show-cause notice to its incumbent president so as to remove him.

 

The move is reportedly aimed at making Dr Asim Hussain, adviser on Petroleum and Natural Resources, as PMDC president.

 

However, Dr Asim Hussain, has reportedly denied that he is interested in becoming the PMDC president owing to his preoccupation with his petroleum ministry affairs.

 

PMDC’s 1962 law was amended on August 13, 2012 by the present government under which the present management of the council is mandated to hold elections within one year (till August 12, 2013) of the promulgation of the new law.

 

Under the law, the previous council ceased to exist on the day of promulgation of the law but the president of the council (Prof Dr Syed Sibtul Hasnain), vice president (Dr Asim Hussain) and other members of the executive committee will continue to function and will hold elections of the council within one year. The incumbent president, under this new law introduced by the government, could not become new president but will continue to be a member of the council for the next three years. This clause is meant for continuation of policies so that an ex-president may remain in council for one term.

 

These members of the executive committee could not be removed from their positions under any law and their mandate is to hold council elections. It is very obvious that any attempt to remove the PMDC president or any of executive committee members will be considered as an attempt to manipulate and rig elections of the council and to get complete control of the highly important and internationally reputed body which regulates medical education in Pakistan and controls a sector involving billions of rupees of businesses.

 

Pakistan’s medical education is considered as one of the best in the world and apparently it seems that after paralysing the Higher Education Commission (HEC), the PPP government is now bent upon making the PMDC a redundant organisation.

 

The federal ministry of national regulations and services recently issued a show-cause notice (No.1/34/2012-PMDC dated: December 20, 2012) to the incumbent President Dr Sibtul Hasnain although the notice neither contains any corruption charge nor any charge of maladministration, but simply accuses him of his failure to implement some policies.

 

The show-cause notice is meant to remove Dr Sibtul Hasnain from his position so that vice president Dr Asim Hussain automatically becomes the president of the council and could himself hold the next elections.

 

Federal minister of the ministry (under which institution like the PMDC has been placed), Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan, was on a foreign visit.

 

It may be pointed out here that in many of its recent judgments, the Supreme Court of Pakistan has repeatedly ordered all government servants not to follow any illegal order issued without any authority of law. p>

 

 

 

“Our results have important research as well as public health implications. Natural history studies of cervical HPV infection were essential for the development of public health interventions, such as HPV vaccination to prevent and HPV detection to screen for cervical cancer. Natural history studies of oral HPV infection are therefore necessary to understand the effects of age, sex, and modifiable risk factors (e.g., smoking and sexual behavior) on the incidence and duration of oral HPV infection.”

They conclude:

 

“…vaccine efficacy against oral HPV infection is unknown, and therefore vaccination cannot currently be recommended for the primary prevention of oropharyngeal cancer. Given an analysis of U.S. cancer registry data recently projected that the number of HPV-positive oropharyngeal cancers diagnosed each year will surpass that of invasive cervical cancers by the year 2020, perhaps such vaccine trials are warranted. Such trials could inform ongoing discussions regarding the benefits of HPV vaccination for males, given the higher prevalence of oral HPV infection demonstrated here as well as higher incidence of HPV-positive OSCC among men.”

 

In an associated report, Hans P. Schlecht, M.D., M.M.Sc., of the Drexel University College of Medicine, Philadelphia, explains:

 

 

“Future research will need to identify the natural history of HPV-related oropharyngeal dysplastic lesions and evaluate potential screening methods to detect oropharyngeal dysplasia prior to invasion.

Successful screening measures such as a Papanicolaou test, HPV polymerase chain reaction testing, or both may be daunting to achieve, but there is meaningful hope that prevention efforts will ameliorate the effects of HPV-related oropharyngeal cancer.

December 22, 2012

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