Govt fails to form new PMDC governing body

Published: February 9, 2019
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PMDC office building. PHOTO: PMDC WEBSITE

PMDC office building. PHOTO: PMDC WEBSITE

ISLAMABAD: It has been a month since the governing body of the apex medical education regulator was dissolved, but the government has yet to take any cogent step to form a new governing body of the council.

Due to the delay in the reforming the governing body, critical affairs of the council have been facing delays.

Moreover, the government will have to move quickly to have the ordinance approved from both, the upper and lower houses of Parliament or else the ordinance for the council will lapse.

On January 12, 2018, a three-member bench of the Supreme Court of Pakistan (SC), headed by the former chief justice of Pakistan (CJP) Mian Saqib Nisar, the 35-member governing body of Pakistan Medical and Dental Council (PMDC) had been dissolved.

In its place, a nine-member ad-hoc committee had been formed for running the affairs of the PMDC headed by Justice (retd) Shakirullah Jan and comprising the Attorney General of Pakistan, the Federal Health Secretary, the Surgeon General of the armed forces, the Lahore University of Health Sciences Vice Chancellor (VC), Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre (JPMC) Karachi VC, Khyber Medical University (KMU) Peshawar VC, Bolan Medical College (BMC) Quetta principal and the VC of the National University of Medical Sciences.

Pakistan President Dr Arif Alvi had issued a new ordinance on the January 9, for restructuring PMDC, dissolving the ad-hoc governing body.

The ordinance reduced the tenure of council members from four years to three years. Moreover, slots for federal and provincial ministers and other lawmakers were eliminated. The overall size of the body was also slashed by half to 17 from the 35 previously.

Of the members, three will be from civil society and will be nominated by the prime minister. Further, one professor from each of the four provinces and one experienced faculty member of the rank of associate professor will be selected who will be nominated by the provincial governments. Two members of the council will be from private medical colleges who will be appointed by the prime minister.

A further two members will be taken from the clinical faculty of dental colleges and will be selected on the rotation basis from the provinces — with one member from either Punjab or Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P), while the other will be selected from Sindh or Balochistan.

Another member will be nominated by the Surgeon General of the armed forces’ medical services while one member will be nominated by the president of the College of Physicians and Surgeons Pakistan (CPSP).

Published in The Express Tribune, February 9th, 2019.

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