By Our Special Correspondent
KARACHI -Pakistan Medical Association’s (Centre) secretary general, Dr Mirza Ali Azhar, said here that that he was optimistic that the incumbent leadership of Pakistan Medical and Dental Council (PMDC) won’t compromise on quality of medical education in the country while granting permission to new medical colleges.
“There is no doubt that the country is experiencing acute shortage of doctors, but it doesn’t mean that any Tom, Dick and Harry could be allowed to open medical colleges in the country,” he opined.
Commenting on the reports that as many as 32 medical colleges have applied to the Ministry of National Health Services (NHS) for seeking PMDC’s registration, the PMA leader told Medical News that at a time when there is mushroom growth of medical colleges in the country and a number of them are lacking faculty, one would sincerely hope that the PMDC would not allow any such medical college which did not meet the criteria set for the opening medical colleges in the country.
Recalling that the former management of the PMDC had given permission to as many as 19 colleges in just one sitting, DrAzhar hoped that the incumbent leadership of the PMDC will not repeat the mistake, or else the doctors to be produced by medical colleges having no proper faculty will neither be able to deliver the goods locally, nor will have any worth abroad.
“Isn’t it amazing that at a time where there is a dearth of faculty members required for teaching several subjects in medical colleges in the country, more and more medical colleges are coming up every now and then,” he remarked, saying as a matter of fact, medical colleges have now become a lucrative business and their owners are minting millions of rupees under the head of fees”.
It may be pointed out that of the 32 medical colleges seeking PMDC’s registration, 12 applications have been received from Punjab, six from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, five each from Sindh and Balochistan; three from Islamabad and one from Gilgit-Baltistan.
Under the procedure, colleges seeking PMDC’s registration are required to apply to the NHS which after ensuring that their documents are complete sent the cases to the PMDC for registration.
It may be pointed that that at present there are 143 medical and dental colleges — 92 in private and 51 public sector — in the country although there is shortage of faculty members of several subjects including Anatomy, Physiology, Bio Chemistry, Pharmacology, Forensic Medicine, etc.