ISLAMABAD: A former chairman of the regulatory body for medical and dental education institutions has made startling revelations regarding corrupt practices regarding the recognition of such institutions.
Various fake medical colleges were recognised by the Pakistan Medical and Dental Council (PMDC), in exchange for millions of rupees in bribes. A considerable portion of these bribes were also shared with officials in federal ministries.
These views were expressed by Rawalpindi Institute of Cardiology Executive Director Maj-Gen (retd) Azhar Meyhmood Kayani.
Kayani had served as PMDC chairperson for a short stint. He said that he along with two other senior members of the team rooted out corrupt elements in the system and handed over such cases to the National Accountability Bureau (NAB).
He was speaking at an event held at the Sustainable Development Policy Institute on the newly elected office bearers of the PMDC. He lamented that there were fears that the people who have been elected may not continue with the cleansing plan he had devised to reform the council.
“There are fears that the old corrupt practices may resurge with the new body,” he said, adding that, “I hope that the prime minister and the federal government will keep a watch on them and not let them derailing the anti-corruption drive in the institution”.
In their investigation, the interim team, headed by Kayani, found many irregularities in the apex body. He said they had gathered evidence of the corruption in the PMDC, and had handed over all documentary evidence to NAB.
“We came to know that registrations of doctors and dental surgeon were done by getting bribes; and a large number of private medical colleges were given licences without meeting the standard criteria for such permissions,” he said.
He added that the interim team was told that to recognise a medical college, between Rs50 million to Rs70 million were received as bribes, or an entire year’s fee of enrolled student was demanded. He said that a quarter of this sum used to go to senior staff, including some deputy secretaries and secretaries in the government.
Published in The Express Tribune, January 27th, 2016.