KARACHI- Pakistan Medical Association (PMA) and representatives of doctor’s bodies held a press conference at PMA House. Addressing the joint press conference, they said that there is no regulatory body for registration of doctors in the country after abolition of Pakistan Medical and dental council (PMDC). All affairs are being through a new council known as Pakistan Medical Commission (PMC). He stated that federal government has put the entire health system of Pakistan in danger after abolition of PMDC.
The press conference was addressed by Dr SM Qaisar Sajjad, Secretary General PMA Centre, Dr Qazi Wasiq, Treasurer PMA Centre, Dr Khalil Mukaddam, President PMA Karachi, Prof Dr Nasir Ali Khan, General Secretary PDA, Dr Omer Sultan, Chairman YDA Sindh, Dr Yaseen Umrani, President YDA Sindh, Dr Humayun Farrukh of PIMA, Dr Jamluddin Sheikh, Ex-Member PMDC Chairman JPMA, Dr Sarwar Jamil Siddiqui and Dr Mehboob Noonari, General Secretary YDA Sindh.
Secretary General PMA told that current government has promulgated two ordinances, replacing the name from PMDC to PMC and formed the Medical Tribunal. He stated that PMA and other doctor’s organizations have rejected these ordinances from the very start.
Dr SM Qaisar Sajjad informed that 11 ordinances including PMC Ordinance and the Medical Tribunal 2019 were presented in the lower house of the Parliament. The government of Pakistan, Tehreek e Insaf (PTI) promulgated these ordinances in haste, despite of agitation from opposition parties.
“Senate has already rejected PMDC ordinance 2019. Hence, these two ordinances are illegal documents, as these ordinances are identical to PMDC ordinance 2019. Instead of promulgating these ordinances, democratic government should have tabled the bills in parliament after discussing with stakeholders’’ they added.
Dr SM Qaisar Sajjad conveyed that PMA had written letters to the President and Prime Minister of Pakistan. These letters were written to request the withdrawal of the ordinances and restored all the sack employees of PMDC. He said that PMA had also written to all the heads of the major political parties of Pakistan, requesting them to support PMA.
“We have written letters to the Chairman Senate and Chairpersons of standing committees of parliament in health. We once again request them all to reject these ordinances. All the honorable members of National Assembly and Senate are also requested to support us in this regard” he added.
Secretary General said that the government had withdrawn all ordinances and decided to forward them to different standing committees. With time passing by, the PMC has not started to function properly. The termination of the experienced ex-employees of PMDC had made the ability to run an institution impossible. The maintenance of documents and registration of medical practitioners have also halted.
Dr Omer Sultan, Chairman YDA Sindh said that all doctors’ representative bodies believe that PMC contained flaws which would be disastrous for the doctors’ fraternity, the medical education and healthcare of the country. The first fallout was faced by the PMDC registered doctors. After the dissolution of PMDC, their memberships were also at stake.
Chairman YDA Sindh said that majority of doctors think that they were “unregistered doctors”. This could put their jobs are at stake. Pakintan’s recognition with international institutions like, International Association of Medical Regulatory Authorities (IAMRA), World Federation of Medical Education (WFME) and Directory of Organizations that recognize/Accredit Medical Schools (DORA) had now been compromised.
Dr Omer Sultan informed that PMC ordinance gave autonomy to the private sector medical education. This included the maintenance of fee structures at their will, Choice of affiliation with the University, enrollment of students without any set limit, no bar for a proper faculty, acceptance of medical students from any foreign and no inspection of medical colleges from regulatory body.
Dr Omer Sultan said after graduation these young doctors would have to appear in National Licensing Examination (NLE) twice, once before the start of house job and second after the house job to obtain the license to practice. This showed that PTI Government lack trust over the medical education system even through the new ordinance.
PMA stakeholders expressed their concerns that the other problem with such decision would be a mushroom growth of coaching centers in the country. In the name of Exit Exam Preparation, these centers would charge hefty fees from already overburdened parents.
General Secretary PDA, Prof Dr Nasir Ali Khan said that future of doctors and medical students were at stake in the country after abolition PMDC. He termed this decision as conspiracy against Pakistan as well as medical education system of the country.
He demanded of Chief Justice of Pakistan, Army Chief and others to take notice of the situation on urgent basis.