Pakistan Medical institutes becoming factories of quacks

'Medical institutes becoming factories of quacks'
Karachi, July 18, 2008: Observing that the Pakistan Medical and Dental Council (PMDC), the prime regulatory body for medical education in the country, has been overwhelmed by owners of private concerns, noted medical professional Dr Shershah Syed has urged the government to ensure an independent and autonomous status for such institutions for the betterment of medical profession and greater interest of patients.

Dr Syed, who has been notified by the federal government as an elected member of PMDC recently but could not sit in the council due a status quo order of a high court, expressed concern over the deteriorating medical education standards and mechanism and the declining facilities at the public and private medical colleges, besides ineffective mechanism to regulate medical colleges. "The government must stop playing in the hands of owners of private medical colleges and mafia," he said.

He referred to the recommendations made by the Senate's standing committee on the affairs of PMDC in December 2005, and said that the standards and quality of education at medical education institutions and training institutes might have improved had the government implemented the recommendations. The committee had called for an immediate halt to the establishment of medical colleges in the public or private sector until such time the situation was reconsidered and the existing deficiencies were corrected. It had observed that the PMDC had failed to enforce standards in medical colleges due to various considerations.

It had noted that some of the private sector medical colleges were doing a dis-service to the medical profession and committing the a crime against citizens and the humanity at large. "Punitive action must be taken against them with immediate effect," it said.

Dr Syed observed that medical education and training sector was facing a crisis as the medical colleges and universities had become "production factories" of the doctors who were taught and tested in a more unscientific manner. This, he said, was quite alarming, and said the PMDC must be transformed into a body sincere only to the causes of the health care delivery system and humanity."The PMDC has totally failed in regulating medical education and training in the country because its control system is now largely under the shadow of vested interests. Since the illegal suspension of Dr Suhail Karim Hashmi as the PMDC secretary, the council has allowed many influential people and agencies to open medical colleges both in the private and public sectors with minimum facilities and also in gross violation of the PMDC-prescribed rules and regulations", Dr Syed claimed.

He called for immediate withdrawal of the provisional NOCs issued by PMDC in regard to the establishment and affiliation of medical colleges with PMDC.

"More than 90 per cent of medical colleges in the public and private sectors are running their institutions without having sufficient medical faculties and facilities. A majority of the private medical colleges were extremely expensive and charging exorbitant tuition fees and donations for admissions," he said.

On the other hand, he added, some government colleges had also started selling seats to those who could make payments in dollars. He said that all was not well in the case of the post-graduate medical education either.

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Admission scedule of MUET
Hyderabad: The Mehran University of Engineering and Technology has announced schedule for admission to BE in City and Regional Planning and Architecture.

Candidates have been asked to obtain application admission forms and a copy of prospectus from September 1 to 15 from designated HBL branches at Sindh University Old Campus Hyderabad, Station Road Dadu, Bundar Road Larkana, Frere Road Sukkur, Masjid Road Nawabshah, Main Bazaar Sanghar, Jinnah Road Mirpurkhas, Station Road Badin, National Highway Thatta, Mehran Hotel Karachi and Mehran University booth Jamshoro and deposit the same in the same bank branch or send by mail under registered post to the Registrar MUET.

Forms should be duly completed in all respects with photocopies of required documents i.e., domicile, permanent residence certificate (Form-C), intermediate (pre-engineering/ general science) and matriculation pass and marks certificates. Dawn

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