ISLAMABAD- The Pakistan Medical and Dental Council (PMDC) has completed nationwide inspections of 168 medical and dental public and private colleges in order to improve the standard of medical education.
Addressing a press conference, PMDC President Prof Dr Tariq Bhutta on Saturday said the Council had decided to close down those institutions which failed to sustain the minimum standards to maintain the international recognition of standard of MBBS and BDS programmes.
He said the inspection and evaluation criteria for recognition of the colleges had been revised, and after its pilot-test, implemented by the Council.
He said four training sessions on new inspection criteria had been conducted and attended by over 400 participants at Peshawar, Islamabad and Lahore respectively.
Under the new criteria, he said, inspections of all medical and dental colleges in public as well as private sectors were carried out. The objective of inspections was to enhance the standards of medical and dental education.
Dr Bhutta said the process of closure of two colleges was underway.
He said the total number of registered medical and dental practitioners in the country as of June 2019 was 257,657. They included 186,980 general medical practitioners, 23,133 general dental practitioners, 45,378 medical, surgical and allied specialists, and 2,166 dental and allied specialists.
Annually, around 18,000 students were being enrolled in 59 public and 109 private medical and dental colleges in the country, he added.
He said the new Council had realized the dire need of major reforms to streamline the affairs of PMDC and make it a highly effective and vibrant regulatory institution for promotion of medical and dental education in the country, at par with international requirements.
He said the PMDC office was being put online, and all sections and regional offices had been interconnected through internet.
He said the Council was also registering over 1,000 doctors annually through NEB examination of Pakistani citizens who obtained foreign basic medical and dental degrees.
He said the present Council had held 10 sessions in short span of time for early disposal of cases, timely decision-making and framing of regulations, etc.
He said the admission regulations 2018 had been revised and the admission policy for session 2019-20 had been announced to ensure transparency and merit in the admission process.
He said major information technology reforms were initiated, which included infrastructure development, capacity of staff, paperless environment, e-filing, installation of latest softwares as well as development of a user -friendly website, etc.
He said the faculty appointment and promotion regulations were being revised, and the PMDC service rules had been reframed.
Dr Bhutta said the PMDC had appointed a new Registrar and Director Finance while it had ordered external financial audit of the PMDC operations from July 2011 onwards.
He said the PMDC was working for its global recognition through World Federation of Medical Education (WFME) in the year 2019.
He said the Council had conducted NEB Step-I exam through National University of Medical Sciences (NUMS) Rawalpindi on June 23, 2019. As many as 2,497 candidates had appeared with the pass percentage up to 34%.
He said NUMS Rawalpindi conducted NEB Step-II on July 28, 2019. As many as 1231 candidates had appeared in exam and up to 66% of them passed the exam.
He said the provisional license and registration process has been made efficient enabling a turnaround period of less than a fortnight to assist new graduates to start their house jobs as early as possible. All licensing and renewal processes were being brought online and through a secured data system to enable immediate processing doing away with the past delays, he added.
Dr Bhutta said pending litigation had been fast tracked for a higher rate of disposal to remove bottlenecks in the system and allowed students and doctors to have their grievances addressed and their outstanding issues resolved.
He said the Council had disposed of over 110 complaints of medical negligence and professional misconduct, and the registration of at least 30 doctors had been suspended or cancelled.