University status: Karachi gets its third medical university with SMC upgrade

Published: June 2, 2012

Sindh Governor Dr Ishratul Ibad signs an ordinance that grants the Sindh Medical College the status of a university as President Asif Ali Zardari looks on. PHOTO: APP

KARACHI: 

The Sindh Medical College (SMC) was granted university status on Friday after the Sindh Governor Dr Ishratul Ebad Khan signed the ordinance at Bilawal House, making it the third medical university in Karachi.

The college formed in 1973, now the Sindh Medical University (SMU), started under the Sindh Health Department and was affiliated with the Karachi University and Dow Medical College. In December 2003, almost 30 years after its establishment, the college came under the Dow University. More than 10,000 students have reportedly graduated to this date from the SMC.

The signing ceremony of the ordinance was attended by President Asif Ali Zardari, Liaquat University of Medical and Health Science’s vice chancellor Naushad Shaikh, Health Minister Dr Sagheer Ahmed, Information Minister Shazia Marri and Finance Minister Murad Ali Shah.

Dr Tariq Rafi, the Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre’s (JPMC) head of ENT, has been appointed as SMU’s vice chancellor. While talking to The Express Tribune, he said that the ordinance will be presented in the upcoming Sindh Assembly session.

With reference to the JPMC, National Institute of Child Health (NICH) and National Institute of Cardiovascular Diseases (NICVD), Rafi said that their status is still under deliberation but they will function as teaching hospitals for the students of the new university. It was initially decided to merge the SMC with JPMC, NICH and NICVD to make one university.

Rafi said that the Dr Ishratul Ebad Khan Institute of Oral Health Sciences will continue to be a part of the Dow University of Health Sciences.

As the first vice chancellor of the university, Rafi aims to bring SMC up to the same standards as the other top universities in the country. “We want to raise the SMU’s standard and hope that it will be affiliated with good institutions.”

The president’s spokesperson, Senator Farhatullah Babar, said that the upgraded medical education facility would be open to all those who are academically qualified for admission, without any bias. The SMU will adopt latest teaching methodology, techniques and strategies in order to ensure the most effective educational training and research programmes, elaborated Babar.

Welcoming foreign students, he said that the university would also cater to the educational requirements of the students from the Southeast Asia and the Middle East. The decision to upgrade SMC has been welcomed by its alumni and students of the college, who complained of biased treatment in comparison to the Dow medical students.

Published in The Express Tribune, June 2nd, 2012.

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Reader Comments (13)

  • dr khan
    Jun 2, 2012 - 12:27PM

    hope it will be free from mqm related party doctors.

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  • observer (UK)
    Jun 2, 2012 - 1:48PM

    Mushroom growth of Medical Universities in the province of Sindh without due regard to trained medical staff and state of the art equipment makes no sense. By upgrading a Medical College which here in the UK are known as Medical Schools doesn’t necessarily improves the standard of the institution. Private medical universities are business orientated. How could you expect a first class treatment in a hospital affiliated to one of the universities in the province which is headed by a diploma holder. Besides, other point to note is that in all other provinces of the country the medical universities or other universities come under the jurisdiction of the provincial chief executive or the chief minister of the province but Sindh is the exception where the governor is the Chancellor who is widely believe to appoint his or his master’s favourites to the posts of vice chancellor.

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  • Syed
    Jun 2, 2012 - 3:27PM

    @dr khan,
    I hope it will be free from the PSF (Punjabi student Fed), that has ruined JPMC, Jamiat and APMSO are thousand times better than PSF, (no pun intended to Punjabi students, as Punjabi students themselves rarely associate themselves with PSF, Kudos to them )

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  • observer (UK)
    Jun 2, 2012 - 6:14PM

    These medical universities in Pakistan in general and Sindh in particular are laughing stock here in the United Kingdom. One should come and visit a Medical University and see its affiliated hospitals and learn from them as to how these institutions are organised. Look at the budget these hospitals have. They receive hundreds of millions of pounds even when the economy is in recession and the citizen of the UK is provided free health services no matter how much money costs to the organisation. The citizen is provided free health service. The Liaquat University of Medical and Health Sciences (LUMHS) was the only university which earned acclamation internationally when it was being headed by its founder VC despite limited resources.

    There is one institution in Karachi known as Sindh Institute of Urology and Transplantation which somehow receives more funds than what Dow Medical University receives and is headed by a gentleman who must be in his 80′s but would not let anyone take his post. As far as I understand the head of SIUT is averse to any aspirant to work in the institution who has Fellowship from the Royal College of Surgeons. Compare SIUT to University College Hospital where renowned Institute of Urology is located. There are scores of consultant urologists with many well trained junior staff and state of the art equipment. The difference will be obvious. The standard is high here and there is audit as well. Let me add here that kidney transplant is not a big deal and is not performed by urologists here in the UK. It is a domain of Transplant surgeons.

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  • Independent UK)
    Jun 2, 2012 - 10:51PM

    Is my comment still waiting to be moderated.
    Is it because I criticised someone who is holding that institution as life long Director?

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  • papoo piplia
    Jun 3, 2012 - 2:51AM

    Observer: Baloney! DMC, Aga Khan and SMC (all three in Karachi) are considered the best medical schools in Pakistan. Medical students from there go on to become leaders in the medical field all over the world. Regarding universities being under the jurisdiction of the governor of Sindh, that’s great. Look at the DUHS. To improve conditions of the hospitals like Civil hospital Karachi, it’s administration should be given to the DUHS instead of the Sindh government, same thing with JPMC. LUHMS is a laughing stock amongst the doctors from Karachi’s medical schools who are the best amongst the world.

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  • papoo piplia
    Jun 3, 2012 - 2:55AM

    Observer: Regarding SIUT, please don’t spread stupid rumors. I personally know many MDs and FRCS docs working there. The funding it receives is via charity, not govt.

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  • papoo piplia
    Jun 3, 2012 - 3:03AM

    Free Kidney transplants in a country like Pakistan are a huge deal. In UK, more than 10% people on transplants die each year waiting for one. If you tell about free kidney transplants to any chief of medicine in any US university, his/her eyes will widen.

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  • Analyst
    Jun 3, 2012 - 3:28PM

    I am rather surprised on views of papoo piplia what observer has correctly observed is absolutely right about hefty budget siut gets from sindh gov.a one man show gov has no say,undoubtedly medical universities have made significant change in medical education in country,however there is no meaningful research done in any university of country,lumps progressed wel ranked two after aku to start only to be deranged in days of previous vc who’s promoted …….. Strange

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  • observer (UK)
    Jun 3, 2012 - 10:27PM

    There is a lively debate going on. Papoo, instead of convincing facts is arguing without any plausible explanation. I shall be grateful if you please approve my comment which concerns Papoo.piplia’s tirade against me.Recommend

  • observer (UK)
    Jun 4, 2012 - 12:07AM

    @papoo.piplia.
    I will be inclined to agree that medical students, after graduation, do go to foreign countries including UK and USA and become ‘leaders’, would be non entity if their training was imparted by the institutions like JPMC and SIUT.

    The government of Sindh has strange criteria, when it comes to distributing annual grants to the medical institutions like Civil Hospital Karachi and SIUT. I can say confidently that the SIUT receives nearly two billion PKR when it has only one department i.e. Urology whilst CHK receives less than two billion PKR when there are more than dozen departments notably among them, General Medicine, General Surgery, Obs& Gynae, Vascular Surgery, Neurosurgery, Accident and Emergency, orthopaedics, Rheumatology and others. This is height of neglect on the part of the government.

    Let me say this as well. The doctors from upper Sindh who had to go to Punjab to get trained as urologists.

    As papoo.piplia has suggested CHK be handed over to the DUMS, I don’t think it would make a great deal of difference, Civil Hospital is managed by a highly qualified and very well experienced Surgeon Prof Saeed Quraishy who has been successful revamping the CHK and has uplifted surgical department by establishing state of the art operation theatres and a Trauma centre. If he gets cooperation from the government and the funds are increased in proportion to what SIUT gets, the delivery of health service would remarkably improve.

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  • papoo piplia
    Jun 5, 2012 - 7:02AM

    Civil hospital under the Sind govt (of the PPP) squanders whatever funds it gets into the corrupt practices of doctors installed in it via the stupid quota system from interior Sindh.

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  • papoo piplia
    Jun 5, 2012 - 7:06AM

    It seems to me that there are “certain Urologists and transplant surgeons” who would make a lot of money on the blood of poor patients needing transplants if SIUT stops offering free kidney transplant to patients.

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