Plans to start MBBS courses at the Post Graduate Medical Institute this year appear to have been suspended as the chief minister did not make an expected announcement about the start of classes on Sunday.
An official said on the condition of anonymity that the Pakistan Medical and Dental Council had inspected the PGMI a few days ago and the inspection “was not positive”.
Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif addressed a ceremony marking the start of the academic year at PGMI on Sunday, but did not state that the first MBBS classes would start this year. Admissions to medical colleges are currently being processed.
On Saturday, PGMI Principal Prof Tariq Salahuddin said that the administration had completed all arrangements for the start of undergraduate medical classes this year. He said that since the PGMI already had a modern lab and experienced faculty, the Punjab government would not have to pay extra to start a small medical college there.
But the chief minister did not make the expected announcement on Sunday and an official said that the MBBS classes might not start this year.
Prof Salahuddin said that the chief minister had invited him to a meeting on Monday to discuss the matter. “There are several matters related to this medical college including scholarships that will be discussed,” he said. “We will call on him and brief him. I told the chief minister earlier that there are only two medical universities in the province, the University of Health Sciences and King Edward Medical College University, and we need to share the burden and strengthen the PGMI,” he said.
An official said that the PMDC had not registered the 100 PGMI seats because some requirements were still to be met.
Addressing the ceremony marking the start of the academic year for postgraduates, Shahbaz Sharif urged senior doctors to devote evening hours to the treatment of dengue patients in public hospital. He said that in the 1960s and 1970s professors and consultants used to visit hospitals in the evening and the tradition should be revived.
He said that controlling dengue had been a massive challenge and the Punjab’s doctors had shown they were not just the best in the world at treating patients, but also that they had the greatest passion for their work.
Sharif said that PGMI played an important role in training medical staff from all over Pakistan and from abroad. He paid tribute to nurse Aasma Kanwal, a PGMI trainee who died of dengue, saying she had sacrificed her life helping the sick. Earlier, Prof Salahuddin presented the welcome address and spoke about the PGMI’s performance.
Health Secretary Dr Jehanzeb Khan, PGMI Vice Principal Prof Habib Vohra and UHS Vice Chancellor Malik Hussain Mubashir also attended the event.
Published in The Express Tribune, October 17th, 2011.
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