By Sarvat Hossein
Last month, there was an apparently sudden dissolution of the PMDC (Pakistan Medical and Dental Council). This created a huge public outcry, as well as among the medical professionals themselves, leaving many unresolved questions in everybody’s mind.
It was sudden and unexpected, there was no warning and it was without explanation. This has shaken up the entire medical community.
I have had an opportunity to speak to few senior medical practitioners,
to gather their opinions on this burning matter. One of the founder members of UHS showed his concern over the dissolution of PMDC : “The Pakistan Medical and Dentist Council was an internationally recognized body and it was not the right decision to dissolve it. This action of government has provided complete independence to the private medical colleges who are now functioning without any checks and balances over them. The Government should immediately restore the original PMDC.”
Another senior Professor of Shaikh Zayed Hospital added his
comments to the issue: “Before taking the final decision to dissolve the
PMDC, all stakeholders such as doctors, medical students, vice-chancellors of medical colleges and others should have been involved in this process. But that never happened. Just why did government have to rush into such drastic action, shutting down their building on a Sunday, making more than 200 people redundant? Re-inventing the wheel is not the solution, improving the existing system must surely be the preferred option.”
The PMDC has faced several allegations and scandals in the past. As
an example, a judicial commission was set up under a court order, after the
allegation of embezzlement in the registration of private medical and dental colleges in 2013.
However, one wonders who will ensure that new a ‘new PMDC organization’ (PMC) will be more effective than the previous one, bearing in mind that some members of the PMC have no insight or expertise regarding the difficulties medical professionals face in the country.
The sentiment amongst the public at large regarding this action is
that they would have preferred government to have carried on with previously existing PMDC whilst working on any loopholes rather than wholesale sudden dissolution of the body entirely, with no warning.
I suppose all we can do is to wait and see how PMC re-structures
and regulates this organization in future, with facilitation of the training of
young doctors in the country high on its agenda, rather than making the lives of these young professionals even more even difficult than it already is. Pak Destiny