Army medical university gets Senate panel’s nod

Published: September 29, 2015
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Senator Farhatullah Babar

Senator Farhatullah Babar

Senator Farhatullah Babar Committee approves NUMS Bill 2015 amid opposition of PPP senator. PHOTO: APP
ISLAMABAD: 

The Senate Standing Committee on Defence approved on Monday the National University of Medical Sciences (NUMS) Bill 2015 amid concerns raised by an opposition senator for giving sweeping powers to the military-run medical institute.

The meeting of the Senate panel headed by Senator Mushahid Hussain Syed was held at the Parliament House.

The main agenda of the meeting was to address the numerous objections Senator Farhatullah Babar had pointed out in the bill during the previous meeting, said a statement issued by the Senate defence committee.

Brig Aamar, assistant commandant of the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology, gave a presentation to the committee members to address the objections raised by the Pakistan People’s Party senator.

Senator Gen Qayyum, Senator Gen Tirmizi and Senator Brig John Kenneth Williams said NUMS was a vital institution and its establishment should not be withheld any longer.

The committee cleared the bill ignoring the objections raised by the opposition lawmaker.

According to the statement, Senator Babar after the presentation expressed satisfaction over the majority of the counter arguments given by Brig Aamar.

However, the PPP lawmaker, in a separate statement, insisted the NUMS Bill did not restrict itself under the Pakistan Medical and Dental Council (PMDC), which serves as a watchdog over the academic functioning of all medical institutions in the country.

He argued as there was no external watchdog for NUMS, the proposed university would be governing itself.

He suggested that a clause be added making it mandatory for NUMS to follow the PMDC’s by-laws and regulations related to prescribing a uniform and minimum standard of courses and qualifications and the experience required for professors and teachers.

“It is unprecedented and illegal to allow NUMS to act as a regulator of medical education in some medical institutions just because those institutions are run by the military,” Senator Babar stated, adding the regulator’s job was for the PMDC and not that of a military-run university.

He said the PMDC Ordinance 1962, amended from time to time, including the latest amendment last month, was a federal law meant to regulate all aspects of medical education throughout the country and could not be bypassed.

“NUMS may become a world-class medical university but it cannot be allowed to become its own regulator just because it is run and operated by the army,” he argued. If the PMDC has failed in performing its functions properly, it does not mean its work should be entrusted to the military, he added.

The PPP leader alleged the proposed law gave the NUMS academic council all powers to regulate medical education independently and without reference to the PMDC laws.

“The space of civilian institutions has already shrunk shockingly and disturbingly. It will be most unfortunate if we fail to arrest this free fall of civilian institutions and continue to abdicate legitimate civilian space in matters of governance and regulation to the military authorities,” he said.

Published in The Express Tribune, September 29th, 2015.

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Reader Comments (6)

  • Sep 29, 2015 - 9:45AM

    i think this is not a correct decision ,pmdc is regulator it issues liscense to the doctors of whole country, then how can nums bypass pmdc and become its own regulator,just because it is military institution.this is very wrong trend in our country,army medical colleges just don,t want to be regulate by a civilian regulatory body, i was student of edwardes college peshawer, it is in a cantonment area, i was going to entered the college but a military personnel told me to go on other route and your are not allowed to go through this cantonment area ,are we common civilian are the children of lesser God.Recommend

  • Rumormonger
    Sep 29, 2015 - 10:31AM

    All universities have to follow PMDC, from Al-Kahir to Aga Khan Universities. How can NUMS supercede PMDC, should be made clear by the good senator opposing it. Have NUMS specifically mentioned or hinted that they want to become an independent entity. I don’t believe they can, withour following PMDC rules.Recommend

  • JusticeHunter
    Sep 29, 2015 - 11:15AM

    They DO what they like, nobody can stop it. So keep on arguing, it will happen regardless. An additional portfolio added to the macho-men business empire for money and not servide. Recommend

  • someone
    Sep 30, 2015 - 10:59PM

    I think armed forces did the right thing pmdc is incompetent and corrupt. Furthermore these so called civilians were making provincial medical councils to destroy any standard left of medical education in Pakistan. I hope they will punish pmdc officials whose name were given by Dr asim. Just ask any FMG how difficult pmdc has made situation for them to get license. 2 parts exam has been made 3 parts, each having 6 month of waiting time. furthermore they have decreased passing ratio to just 15 percent. Their teaching methods are from the 70’s and their professors don’t know how even talk politely.Recommend

  • A friend
    Sep 30, 2015 - 11:35PM

    @tasleem ulhaq:
    Dear Friends, clarification is needed in this regard. NUMS is not at all bypassing PMDC. For all universities HEC is the overarching body. As it is a medical sciences university it will include biomedical subjects that will require other bodies as well. As for medical graduation and post-grad medical education, all the requisites of PMDC will be accomplished as per existing policy, and other medical universities are doing. I have read the charter, President PMDC is member of board of governors, so how can it bypass PMDC when President himself is sitting over there. I think the situation has been wrongly interpreted.Recommend

  • NABEEL
    Nov 9, 2015 - 7:36PM

    what does this mean and when admission will be opened for this NUMS Recommend

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