PMDC issues list of 15 medical colleges failing to comply with rules
By Tanveer Sher
KARACHI: The Pakistan Medical and Dental Council (PMDC) has issued a list of 15 unrecognised medical and dental colleges of both private and public sectors which have failed to comply with rules relating to deficiencies of faculty, space, building and other pre-requisite facilities.
The PMDC president, Dr M. Hayat Khan Zafar, has written a letter to the federal health secretary drawing his attention to the recent announcements by provincial governments relating to admission to new medical colleges on a self-finance basis. Dr Zafar termed it a good move in view of the need for generating funds to improve the healthcare system in the country.
However, he emphasized that the colleges are bound to follow rules and regulations laid down by the PMDC.
The list issued by the PMDC have these public-sector medical colleges from Punjab on it: Services Medical Institution, PGMI, Lahore, Sialkot Medical College, Sialkot, Sheikh Zayed Medical College, Rahim Yar Khan, Undergraduate Medical College, Sheikh Zayed Hospital, Lahore. Those from the private sector are Independent Medical College, Faisalabad, Islamabad Medical and Dental College, Islamabad, Wah Medical College, Wah Cantt (admission not started yet), Al-Huda Medical College, Lahore, University College of Medicine and Dentistry, Lahore, and The University of Faisalabad Medical and Dental College, Faisalabad.
In Sindh, Sukkur Medical College, Sukkur. In the NWFP in the private sector Saidu Medical College, Swat, Gomal Medical College, Dera Ismail Khan and in the private sector are Abbottabad Medical College, Abbottabad, and Jinnah Institute of Medical Sciences, Peshawar.
The letter says the council has been conscious of the problems created by the unrecognised medical colleges and it has repeatedly issued warnings to intending medical students not to seek admission to a private medical college unless it is approved for MBBS and BDS education by the PMDC. The PMDC president says any medical college that fulfils the requirements laid down by the council is considered for recognition after proper inspection by a team of experts comprising senior professors of medical and dental colleges. One of the major shortcomings found in the working of unrecognised colleges is a lack of trained staff in basic medical sciences, which is now not available in the country. Earlier, the faculty of the subject was easily available in the country. Now teachers have either moved abroad or preferred joining the private sector due to the high salaries offered by them. Public-sector colleges not approved by the council are being affiliated with reputed public-sector universities and degrees awarded by prestigious universities of the country will damage the image of the country.
The US department of education has praised the standard of PMDC monitoring for accreditation of medical colleges/schools and has declared it comparable to the USA standards. Pakistan is the only Muslim country to have this honour.
The letter pointed out that the PMDC criteria for establishment of medical and dental institutions clearly spells out the requirements for the no-objection certificate from the council before advertising admission to the first-year MBBA/BDS. In addition a feasibility report is also required to be submitted to the council, and after analysis of the report an inspection team is sent to decide whether the college has the required facilities and faculties to admit students.
The PMDC issues warning letters whenever new institutions advertise for admission without NOC. The council has taken notice that provincial governments and new medical colleges announce admissions without following rules and procedures and this matter was seriously discussed at length in a recent council session.