PMDC has ordered the closure of Yusra Medical and Dental College Islamabad (YMDCI) and Continental Medical College in Lahore. At the time 1000 students are enrolled in the two mentioned institutions combined. PMDC has advised the students to submit their college preferences, as the council has decided to move and adjust them in 11 different recognized colleges.
The Islamabad-based medical college initially applied for registration in 2009, but was rejected due to deficient, and subpar facilities. In 2010, the same application was made, which got accepted. YMDCI Principal alleges that PMDC’s decision is not justified and made an appeal to the Chief Justice of Pakistan for an unbiased investigation. According to the principal the six-storey building was fully equipped with standardized facilities, and a competent faculty of 200 members.
In 2014, YMDCI was barred for a year by PMDC, because their affiliated hospital lacked in essential facilities, for which they went to court. Few years ago, YMDCI, among other colleges, was investigated under NAB’s order. This was because all colleges that got registered during Dr. Asim Hussain’s tenure were under scrutiny, due to allegations of irregularities. The last inspection took place on February 27th 2018.
While expressing distaste for PMDC’s order, the YMDCI management voiced their concern regarding the affected students’ careers, which are likely to suffer from this shift. The management told a local newspaper that they were currently housing 140 students in their hostel facility, out of which 100 were women. Most of these students are from underdeveloped Northern areas, and Southern Punjab; and to experience a change as such would be even more challenging for them. The management also expressed disquiet over having to let the students go when exams were expected in less than a month’s time.
PMDC Registrar Dr. Waseem Hashmi remarked that the careers of the students belonging to the two institutions being shut down were already in jeopardy. A member of the council, that requested indivisibility, told a local newspaper that YMDCI has been PMDC’s target for the past three years, and with genuine reason as they have received several complaints from the students, and their parents concerning the substandard status of the university.
In a letter signed by PMDC Registrar Dr Waseem Hashmi, all the current students at YMDCI and Continental Medical College were informed of PMDC executive committee’s decision to close the two colleges, and to relocate the students to other medical colleges. The letter further said: “…You are directed to provide the enclosed performs duly filled in all aspects to the undersigned as early as possible. However, it is the right of council to adjust any student in any medical college at its own discretion.”
An insider from Continental Medical College (Lahore) told Dental News that after paying an investigative visit at the campus, PMDC issued the order to seal the university, allegedly due to deficient facilities. It was decided that the students of first, second, and third year (MBBS) will be moved to other recognized medical colleges.
PMDC’s notice was not received well by the faculty and students of the two colleges, and they resorted to protesting outside PMDC’s head office in Islamabad. The protest was held on Monday, September 3rd 2018. On being inquired by a media reporter, the primary concern of the students was found to be their fear of an uncertain future. One student said that it would have been comparatively practical if the decision was made at the start of the session. According to the statement made by PMDC’s spokesperson, Hina Shoukat, the colleges had been closed by the council after receiving no practical response from the colleges even when repeated notices were sent to the admins about the unacceptable standards of the now-sealed institutions.
On inquiring about the affected student’s future, a PMDC insider told Dental News that the educational years completed by the students to be moved will not be affected negatively, and their careers will be secured. While talking to the media, Hina Shoukat stated, “PMDC wrote to each student to recommend a nearby college for their adjustment and it will fulfil its commitment.”