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Lawmakers urged to reject PMDC ordinance

After the matter was taken up by the Senate Standing Committee on National Health Services (NHS), Pakistan Medical Association (PMA) has stressed making Pakistan Medical and Dental Council (PMDC) an autonomous, independent, transparent, democratic and vibrant body to regulate medical education in a transparent way.

The association urged members of parliamentary committees in both houses of parliament to play their role in rejecting the presidential ordinance through which the new body of PMDC has been established.

PMA is a representative body of medical practitioners and has divi-sional, provincial and central chapters. Moreover, it has 128 ancillary bodies which have representation of doctors. Each of Karachi and Lahore bodies has over 10,000 members.

PMA Secretary General (central) Dr Qaisar Sajjad told Dawn that apart from other steps it had been decided to hold a meeting with heads of political parties to brief them on the issue.

`As the PMA has members across the country so they will meet parliamentarians in all the provinces and convince them to reject the ordinance,` he said.

On Jan 5, President Dr Arif Alvi promulgated the `PMDC Ordinance 2019` under which a 17-member council would deal with issues related to medical colleges, attached hospitals and health professionals.

On March 13, Prof Dr Tariq Iqbal Bhutta was elected as president and Prof Dr Amer Zaman Khan as vice president for a term of three years. As the ordinance has to sail through parliament, the `The Pakistan Medical and Dental Council Bill 2019` was tabled in Senate and referred to the standing committee on March 7.

On May 13, the Senate Standing Committee on NHS recalled that the Supreme Court in a verdict had observed that promulgation of the PMDC Ordinance would be a fraud.

Committee Chairman Mian Ateeg Sheikh had alleged that a number of points were deliberately included in the ordinance to benefit some elements while parliamentarians were not made a part of the council.Senator Ashok Kumar said he had learnt that the council was trying to bring back `corrupt` employees.

In a statement, the PMA appreciated Senator Sheikh and other members of the parliamentary committee for taking a bold stance against the ordinance.

`PMA has already rejected the PMDC ordinance under which a selected council has been formed in total violation of PMDC ordinance 1962. We always stressed making PMDC an autonomous, independent, transparent, democratic and vibrant body to regulate medical education in the country in a transparent way,` it stated.

`PMA once again requests members of Senate and National Assembly to support PMA by raising their voice against this illegal,unconstitutional and destructive ordinance and reject it,` added the statement.

Dr Sajjad told Dawn that he had decided to write to the chief justice of Pakistan urging him to take a suo motu notice of the issue because the matter was related to health of the nation as council regulates medical colleges and health practitioners.

`As according to rules the ordinance has to sail through parliament within 120 days otherwise the government can extend the time period for another 120 days.

Though it might not sail through parliament, the ordinance will remain intact for 240 days.

`The council may take a number of steps due to which it will become irreversible loss for the health sector as all steps taken by the council will be legal,` he said.

Title : Lawmakers urged to reject PMDC ordinance
Author : Daily Dawn
Type : News
Role Performer : Corporate Author
Organizing Body : Riphah International University
Subject : Pakistan Medical and Dental Council
Publisher : Daily Dawn
Publication Place : Islamabad
Date : 2019-05-20
Language : English