Sav­ing the true face of Pak Med­i­cal and Den­tal Coun­cil

The Pak Banker - - NATIONAL - Dr Habib-ur-Rehman

Like ev­ery coun­try around the world med­i­cal pro­fes­sion­als and med­i­cal col­leges across Pak­istan are bound to register with an in­de­pen­dent reg­u­la­tory body - Pak­istan Med­i­cal and den­tal Coun­cil (PMDC). Ef­fi­ciency, work­ing and au­ton­omy of the coun­cil is re­flected by abil­ity of doc­tors, stan­dard of med­i­cal col­leges and ac­cep­tance of cre­den­tials of our med­i­cal grad­u­ates across the world.

PMDC was es­tab­lished in 1962 af­ter amend­ing In­dian med­i­cal coun­cil act 1932. It should be re­mem­bered that PMDC reg­is­tra­tion is manda­tory for any Pak­istani doc­tor to prac­tice within or out­side Pak­istan. The ex­is­tence of this coun­cil had been a source of pride for our coun­try and med­i­cal sec­tor.

Down­ward pro­gres­sion re­mained our tra­di­tion as a na­tion and same hap­pened with PMDC. Po­lit­i­cal ap­point­ments, and money mat­ters af­fected this in­sti­tu­tion badly in past two decades. In late 90s med­i­cal grad­u­ates from China, Rus­sia and many other coun­tries started pour­ing in our na­tional pool. These doc­tors on re­turn­ing back reg­is­tered them­selves with PMDC and started work­ing in dif­fer­ent in­sti­tu­tions of Pak­istan . Soon it be­came ev­i­dent that many of them are not upto the mark and many med­i­cal schools and col­leges abroad are fake. PMDC even­tu­ally started as­sess­ment of for­eign qual­i­fied med­i­cal grad­u­ates. Ini­tially the process was trans­par­ent but grad­u­ally it was marred by al­le­ga­tions of bribery and thus tainted the im­age of PMDC. PMDC never re­sponded to the al­le­ga­tions ap­pro­pri­ately. Latest in­ci­dent in rel­e­vance with PMDC ex­am­i­na­tion oc­curred in Karachi when a for­eign qual­i­fied doc­tor was asked for huge amount of money as bribe for pass­ing ex­ams. Re­port­edly doc­tor was mur­dered when he failed to pay the money and in­volved media. Sad­dest part of the story is that pres­i­dent of PMDC has been nom­i­nated in FIR.

Where '90s brought a flood of for­eign-qual­i­fied doc­tors , num­ber of med­i­cal col­leges came up with this surge .PMDC register ev­ery med­i­cal in­sti­tu­tion of the coun­try and so all the newly formed med­i­cal col­leges . Fi­nan­cially med­i­cal col­leges need and in­volve huge amounts of money and so med­i­cal col­lege mafia en­gulfed PMDC too. There was a well or­ga­nized sys­tem of checks and bal­ances at start but grad­u­ally de­cline en­gulfed this sys­tem too. It should be noted that PMDC rules clearly de­fine pre req­ui­sites for es­tab­lish­ment of any med­i­cal col­lege. Ini­tially the rules were fol­lowed but later rec­om­men­da­tions from po­lit­i­cal fig­ures, bribery and in many cases a sig­na­ture of in­flu­en­tial par­lia­men­tary mem­ber or min­is­ter was enough to es­tab­lish a med­i­cal col­lege. Med­i­cal col­leges were opened in small build­ings and small nurs­ing homes were re named as teach­ing hos­pi­tals. Med­i­cal col­lege mafia be­came so pow­er­ful that de­spite vi­o­lat­ing rules and charg­ing 6 to 12 lac per stu­dent as tu­ition fee per year con­tin­ued to work.

Leav­ing aside PMDC man­age­ment de­cline, PMDC never cre­ated any ex­am­ple of or­ga­ni­za­tional co op­er­a­tion. War with med­i­cal grad­u­ates, and med­i­cal ed­u­ca­tion later in­volved es­teemed in­sti­tu­tions of coun­try too .PMDC rec­og­nized diploma of one to two year from many small in­sti­tu­tions and de­nied to ac­cept de­gree of world rec­og­nized FCPS from col­lege of physi­cians and sur­geons Pak­istan in many cases .This move as­ton­ished many top med­i­cal bod­ies of the world. PMDC's war did not stop here .PMDC with­out any home­work sud­denly bound reg­is­tered doc­tors of Pak­istan to com­plete credit hours for keep­ing their names in register of Pak­istan med­i­cal and den­tal coun­cil.

Although com­ple­tion of credit hours, con­tin­ued med­i­cal ed­u­ca­tion and re­fresher cour­ses for keep­ing reg­is­tered doc­tors up­dated is im­ple­mented around the world and the same was the need of Pak­istani doc­tors com­mu­nity but in all coun­tries where such pro­ce­dures are im­ple­mented there is al­ways de­vel­oped in­fra­struc­ture for con­tin­u­a­tion of such ac­tiv­i­ties.

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