The Pakistan Medical and Dental Council (PMDC) has barred Women Medical College, Abbottabad from registering new students after it failed to overcome a shortage of teaching staff and provide basic facilities. The top medical regulatory body had already warned the college to conform to its criteria after carrying out a surprise inspection.
PMDC Spokesperson Jumma Mandokhail told The Express Tribune that in 2008, PMDC had refused to recognise NIMS as it did not comply with the council’s criteria. However, despite the subsequent denial of approval from PMDC, the college went ahead and had admitted about 390 students.
He said that in the past month, six private medical colleges have been barred from admitting students, namely Pak Red Crescent Medical and Dental College, Lahore, Al-Tibri Medical College, Karachi, Mohiuddin Islamic Medical College, Mirpur (AJK),Muhammad Medical College, Mirpurkhas, Abbottabad International Medical College and Women Medical College, Abbottabad.
“The colleges may resume admissions once they ensure the availability of required facilities for students.” There are 129 public and private sector medical colleges registered with the PMDC, however, over the last five years, there has been mushroom growth throughout the country, he said. “This is why the council carried out surprise inspections of medical colleges to check whether they fulfilled the criteria set by PMDC.” He added that Indus Medical College, Tando Muhammad Khan Sindh, Rahbar Medical College, Lahore and Faryal Medical College, Lahore are not recognised by PMDC.
In a related development, the Peshawar High Court (PHC) on Wednesday closed down NIMS Medical College, Abbottabad, endorsing PMDC’s decision. The PHC has directed that all students of NIMS be adjusted in private medical colleges under the supervision of PMDC within 15 days in line with all legal requirements.
In response to a writ petition submitted by students of the college, the PHC ordered that final-year students who were permitted by the court to appear in final year exams also be adjusted in private medical colleges at the same level after verification of their documents by the PMDC. They will have to take their final exams at their new schools.
The court also ordered the formation of a committee consisting of representatives of all private institutions in the province, along with a PMDC representative. With the Khyber Medical University, Peshawar vice chancellor to serve as its chairman, the committee will adjust students and the college will be liable to reimburse all fees according to the receipts submitted by students.
Published in The Express Tribune, June 20th, 2013.