FAISALABAD: Speakers at a press conference called by the Pakistan Medical Association, the Young Doctors’ Association, the Social Security Doctors’ Association, the Forum of Family Physicians Association, the Medical Teachers’ Association, the Private Hospital Association and the Pakistan Society of Forensic Medicine and Toxicology Association on Thursday said that the Pakistan Medical and Dental Council (PMDC) was protecting business interest of a group of private medical colleges.
Khurram Raja, Muhammad Taufail, Abdus Sattar Qureshi, Muhammad Irfan, Altaf Parvaiz, Rae Muhammad Arif, Muhammad Anjum – representatives of these associations – said the PMDC which was responsible for ensuring health of the people of the country by ensuring quality medical education.
They said the PMDC was tasked with enforcing a code of conduct on doctors.
Instead, they said, the PMDC had turned into the “godfather of private medical college mafia.”
They said these private colleges had jeopardised quality of health education in the country. They said the colleges were producing incompetent doctors who had been charged millions of rupees for their education.
They said in 2008, there were 18 medical institutions in the country.
They said the number had risen to 150 in five years.
“There is no merit, no rules and regulations and no training for the doctors produced by these private medical institutions which are only minting money,” they said.
They said the PMDC had been “hijacked” by people like Asim Hussain – the president of Private Medical Universities Association, now a vice president of the PMDC.
“Hussain and some other members are only promoting their business interests,” they said.
They said the PMDC had compromised quality of medical education by allowing specialists of clinical sciences to be employed as faculty in basic medical sciences.
“They have done this citing shortage of faculty in basic medical sciences departments in the country,” they said.
They said the PMDC should not have changed the name of forensic medicine to forensic pathology.
“This points to lack of professional knowledge and understanding of these subjects by decision makers,” he said.
“Renaming a subject to another is not a prerogative of PMDC as both subjects must be studied separately,” they said.
They said if the government failed to take notice of this, lives of hundreds of thousands of people across the country would be affected. They said the private mafia should be stopped from playing with the lives of thousands of people.
Published in The Express Tribune, May 22nd, 2015.
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