CM inaugurates two ‘fake’ medical colleges

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lahore – In a clear violation of Supreme Court orders, Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif inaugurated two “fake” medical colleges on Monday, as the Health Department has yet to apply to the Pakistan Medical and Dental Council (PMDC) for their recognition, sources told Pakistan Today.
In its verdict in 2004-05, a full SC bench had declared all medical colleges not recognised by the PMDC as “fake”. Sources said the Health Department had not even applied to the PMDC for the recognition, therefore, Khawaja Safdar Medical College in Sialkot and Gujranwala Medical College in Gujranwala, both of which the chief minister inaugurated, were not only “unrecognised” but also “fake”. Four new medical colleges started their classes in Dera Ghazi Khan, Sahiwal, Gujranwala and Sialkot on Monday, but the chief minister inaugurated only two, as he had already laid the foundation stone of the other two medical colleges.
The issue came to surface earlier as well when the PMDC wrote to the Health Department about the colleges’ recognition, however, no step was taken to address the issue. The PMDC clearly states its rules for opening up new medical colleges. The minimum criteria, requirements and guidelines laid down by the PMDC say that “before inspection, information from the medical/dental institutions/universities are obtained on prescribed application forms attached to these regulations. The PMDC then checks whether the criteria it has laid down has been met or not”.
Then, infrastructure reports submitted by inspection officers are considered by the executive committee, which formulates its recommendations for the council. These recommendations, along with the preceding record, are placed before the council for formulation of recommendations for the Ministry of Health for notification under the PM&DC Ordinance 1962. After the building, infrastructure, faculty, equipment, laboratory, library and hospital are in place, a prescribed performa is filled and Rs 0.6 million are deposited along with the application.
After that, senior doctors inspect the hospital premises and the inspection committee submits its findings to the PMDC, consisting of 60 members who are deans, vice chancellors and senior doctors from both public and private sector. This council has the final authority to grant recognition to a medical college. However, admissions in both “fake” medical colleges, 100-seats each, are complete without the fulfilment of the basic requirements. This has also put the future of medical students at stake, as both colleges have started working without getting recognition.
Sources said Shahbaz talked about good governance and eliminating fake medical colleges on one hand, while he was inaugurating unrecognised colleges on the other. Talking to Pakistan Today, PMDC Registrar Nadeem confirmed that the Health Department had not even applied to get the colleges recognised.
“I’ve written letters to the Punjab Health Department highlighting various issues, clearly mentioning that it would be a clear violation of Supreme Court’s verdict which says that any college without PMDC’s recognition is fake,” he said. He said the inauguration of two “unrecognised” medical colleges had given rise to several legal issues and “everyone is in a fix what to do, as the PMDC has never done so in the past”.
“The PMDC wants to grant recognition to these medical colleges, but the Health Department does not seem interested in fulfilling this basic requirement, as is evident from the fact that the department has not even applied for it,” he concluded. However, Health Secretary Fawad Hassan Fawad said the department had fulfilled all requirements laid down by the PMDC and the rest was just “clerical procedure”.
He said the government had fulfilled all requirements and all four medical colleges had complete faculty, attached teaching hospitals and other basic requirements. “The principals of these medical colleges will attach the names of their respective faculty and submit the form to the PMDC very soon to fulfil other formalities,” he said.
“I personally met the president and registrar of the PMDC at their office six months ago and discussed the entire project with them…the president, Dr Asim Hussain, not only agreed with us but also supported the idea…we had an understanding with the PMDC that the Health Department will fulfil all requirements before inaugurating the classes,” he said. To a question on the SC verdict, he said the SC issued the verdict in a case of a private medical college, which is incomparable to public medical colleges.

2 COMMENTS

  1. The PMDC should approve these medical colleges as regular study throught the year has been done.

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