ISLAMABAD                    -              The Ministry of National Health Services (NHS) on Wednesday once again locked the Pakistan Medical & Dental Council (PMDC) and prohibited its restored staff from joining the office.

The Islamabad High Court (IHC) earlier this week had directed the ministry to de-seal the office of the PMDC registrar and allowed him resuming his duties.

Officials said that the ministry partially implemented the court orders and symbolically opened the registrar office and gave him access for limited time duration on the day court issued orders.

Officials said that, however, instead of making the body functional the ministry has started delaying giving the charge to the PMDC registrar.

“The registrar visited the secretary NHS office for consecutive two days and waited for hours but was not given the joining letter,” said officials.

Meanwhile, the situation turned bitter outside the PMDC building when the registrar PMDC Brig (retd) Hafeez-ud-Din and the employees tried to enter the building.

Dozens of PMDC employees gathered outside PMDC office and tried to enter the building showing court orders, however, the guards prohibited employees saying that they have not been authorised to allow anyone in the building.

Officials said that the city administration intervened to avoid the clash between PMDC employees and the guards.

“Ministry is insisting upon registrar to restore the staff of its own choice instead of restoring all above 250 employees,” said the official.       

The PMDC registrar Brig (retd) Hafeez-ud-Din talking to The Nation said that the ministry after the court orders had said that it will set the modalities for the employees to join office due to novel coronavirus situation (COVID-19) in the country.

He said that he visited ministry and waited for six hours on Tuesday but no response was given by the ministry and same was done on Wednesday.

“I need staff to make PMDC operational as I cannot do work alone while there is also no council of the regulatory body,” he said.

Meanwhile, spokesperson Ministry of NHS SajidHussain Shah said that the ministry implemented the court orders and de-sealed the registrar office on the same day while it is also working to make it functional further.

He said that the COVID-19 situation in country has created exceptional circumstances, however, the ministry will address the PMDC issues on priority basis.

Pakistan Medical Association (PMA) also expressing concerns urged the government to make the regulatory body functional.

A statement released by PMA said that it is deeply concerned over the delaying tactics of the government for not de-sealing the PMDC building on the orders of Islamabad High Court. The regulatory body for registration of doctors and medical education is still non-functional. 

It said that even then only registrar of PMDC was allowed to visit his office for less than an hour and no employee was allowed to enter into the building.

“We request the Supreme Court of Pakistan to take notice of the situation in restoring PMDC,” the statementsaid.

PMA said that now at this point doctors are fighting on frontline with coronavirus in Pakistan, but their registration with PMDC has expired. Thousands of registration cases are pending. More than 15,000 fresh graduates are also waiting for their provisional registration to start their house jobs.