Saving the true face of Pak Medical and Dental Council
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.