ISLAMABAD: A press conference was called by The Pakistan Medical Commission (PMC) recently. They announced PMC’s plan for digitalization of the verification system of doctors and medical students. Dr Arshad Taqi, PMC President and Mohammad Ali Raza, PMC’s Vice-President presided the occasion.
While addressing a press conference, Taqi said that following the formation of PMC, they took several steps to improve its working. The clearance of pending cases of good standing certificates and the verifications of applications for doctors’ were included in the steps. The PMC clarified that the Higher Education Commission (HEC) would ensure that the PMC’s standards were implemented in medical colleges as per the directives of a new law.
“The HEC will conduct inspections of medical and dental colleges whose education standards will be set by the commission,” said PMC President. He said that the PMC had taken many steps to improve its system as per international standards. The registration for students who wanted to sit for the National Examination Board (NEB) Step-1 exam on December 1 had been processed and their admit cards had been prepared as well.
Taqi further added that the new website of the commission had also been made functional on an urgent basis. Additionally, the commission hired the services of eight managers and 22 supporting staff members to run day-to-day affairs. The staff had been hired for 90 days till permanent employees are appointed, he noted.
He informed that an email id – firstname.lastname@example.org – had been made functional as well, and all students and doctors were requested to send their queries and applications to the provided address. He assured that their concerns would be responded to on an immediate basis.
A 24-hour helpline and customer service facility has been set up and will be made operational shortly to provide all students and doctors with a toll-free number to have their queries answered at any given time, including status updates concerning their pending applications, if any, Taqi added.
Dr Taqi said that the IT networking system had also been enabled at the PMC to provide internet and connectivity while arrangements for the digitalisation of the PMC were currently being processed.
He said that the process for new student registrations and the issuance of provisional licenses to students had been overhauled and simplified. New forms for the registration of fresh students and the granting of provisional licenses were being sent to colleges and universities shortly and provided to students online as well, he added.
Students could submit the fee online at any NBP branch across the country rather than having to undertake the cumbersome process of preparing bank drafts, etc. An online verification service from NADRA had been arranged to enable the immediate verification of credentials by the commission to ease the burden on students and doctors who had to obtain verifications themselves in the past, he noted.
This would enable the institutions to be affiliated with HEC-recognized University. It would also assist in registration with the PMC for recording and tracking medical and dental students. Thus, ensuring that the PMC could efficiently issue licenses when these students graduate.
Vice-President, PMC said that the fee for MBBS and BDS programs, for which admissions were underway, remained at a maximum of Rs950,000. He clarified that hostel charges were separate from the fee. The PMC will not allow anyone to charge more fees than the stated amount.
Meanwhile, former employees of the defunct Pakistan Medical and Dental Council (PMDC) staged a protest against the dissolution of the council and establishment of the PMC. The protest was arranged on the call of the PMDC Employees’ Movement. It was a sit-in in front of the council’s headquarters to raise the voice against the dissolution of the commission.
During the press conference, the participants raised slogans outside the building. When asked about the protest, the PMC President said that he and his team were working on the task given by the government to improve the commission. They had no time to pay attention to such protests.