National News

Senate concerned over allowing ‘non-doctors’ to teach medical students

PESHAWAR: The Senate’s standing committee on health has recently expressed concerns over government’s decision allowing non-doctors to become teachers at medical and dental colleges, according to Pakistan People’s Party Senator, Behramand Tangi. He brought the matter into notice of Senate, said that as to how people with no medical background could be allowed to teach medical students.

According to Behramand, a standing committee in its meeting held earlier, rejected the new directives and also dismissed several persons, who had been recruited in medical schools despite having no background in health.

The Pakistan Medical Commission, which was dissolved by Islamabad High Court on February this year, decided in November of last year to grant permission to medical colleges to employ non-doctors to teach basic sciences to students.

Senator Tangi said that the committee members including those belonging to ruling Pakistan TI, federal secretary health and others unanimously asked the government to save medical education from destruction and revoke the plan outlined by the defunct PMC.

The former council has defined minimum requirements for hiring faculty members and those standards were defined and refined over a period of decades, teachers at medical colleges said.

The present council has abolished these requirements and allowed non-doctors to teach at medical institutions regardless of their qualifications and teaching experience.

The teachers said that every professional degree required relevant people to teach engineering, agriculture, pharmacy etc with no overlap of basic sciences.

They said that medical microbiology, pharmacology, biochemistry, pathology, physiology and anatomy were different subjects but the new criteria allowed a doctor of veterinary medicine, who did not study human basic medical sciences, to teach the students of medical colleges.

There was shortage of teachers five years ago, which has now been fulfilled as a recent inspection by Pakistan Medical and Dental Council indicated that medical schools had required number of faculty in basic medical sciences. The hospitals were deficient in clinical super specialties and not in basic medical sciences.

“Significantly, many medical doctors with post-graduate qualifications are jobless and the new order would diminish their chances of being recruited if not revoked,” said the teachers.

They said that they had requested the Senate, which discussed it in details with top health officials at the federal level the new move and its fallouts on the standard of medical education in the country. “We have also requested the council to reverse the decision of allowing non-medical people to teach medical students,” they said.

-MN Report

February 17, 2020

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