KARACHI: The Pakistan Medical Association (PMA) is gravely concerned about the dissolution of the Pakistan Medical and Dental Council (PMDC), which has now been replaced by a new institution called the “Pakistan Medical Commission,” through a controversial Presidential ordinance.
President, PMA Centre, Dr Ikram Ahmed Tunio, and Secretary-General, PMA Centre, Dr S M Qaisar Sajjad, expressed these views during a joint press conference held at the PMA House. Ex-President, PMA Centre, Dr Tipu Sultan, Treasurer, PMA Centre, Dr Qazi M Wasiq, and others were also present on occasion.
They said that the government had recently failed to approve the previous PMDC ordinance 2019 from the Senate, which was unacceptable to all major stakeholders. Regarding this new ordinance, the democratic government should have consulted the stakeholders first and developed a consensus that should have been tabled in the parliament, so that all the political parties could give their proposals, and unanimous legislation for improving healthcare and medical education would have been established. This hasty move shows that the government is supporting a vested interest group.
They explained that the PMDC building was recently sealed, and according to the initial reports, 220 employees, including the registrar, were sent on leave for a weak. Now, however, the latest news notes that all 264 employees have been sacked. Some employees were scheduled for retirement soon. Regulating medical education in the country by terminating these experienced people is next to impossible. The government destroyed the single regulatory body that represented medical education, registration, licensing of medical practitioners, and monitoring of medical colleges and universities.
The ordinance is ambiguous. Taking into account section 9, clause -2a, the PMA questioned how the council had the authority to appoint members of the commission when nine members were nominated by the Prime Minister (section 4-1) himself.
The PMA categorically rejected this ordinance on the same day it was promulgated. They demanded the Prime Minister and President of Pakistan to withdraw this ordinance immediately and restore all the employees of the PMDC. We also demand to follow the PMDC ordinance 1962 and hold elections within 90 days.
They reiterated to restore the PMDC as an independent, autonomous, transparent, and vibrant body.