islamabad - Head of Shaheed Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto Medical University has approached the President’s office to take notice of the ‘anomalies’ in the SZABMU Amendment Act 2017, fearing protest of the students and stakeholders against the legislation, an official said on Thursday.

The act has been passed by both houses of the Parliament and awaits signature of the President.

The official said that SZABMU had legal concerns over the act aimed at separating Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences (PIMS) from the university, adding that the SZABMU management had written a letter to President House to intervene and provide protection to the students and legal status to the university.

The official told The Nation that Acting VC SZABMU Dr Abid Farooqi had written two letters to the President House to take measures for providing protection to the students of the university as the degree-awarding institute would be de-recognised by regulatory departments as a result of the new legislation.

One of the letter said, “The SZABMU stands to be de-recognised by both regulators responsible for academic institutions, the Higher Education Commission and Pakistan Medical and Dental Council. As a result, all medical doctors will suddenly be left high and dry”, the letter said.

Presently, approximately 5,000 students are enrolled at the varsity and the PIMS mostly depends on these trainee doctors. “If these doctors resort to protesting to demand career protection, then the hospital work and patient care will suffer enormously and many medical students studying in private medical colleges affiliated with the university are also likely to stage protests over the threat to their careers,” the letter said.

The acting VC urged the competent authority to address these issues on emergency basis to avoid unrest in the coming days.

The acting head of SZABMU Dr Abid Farooqi said that as the head of the institution, it was his duty to apprise the authorities of any possible problems that might arise out of the new legislation.

This is a way to streamline affairs without hurting anybody’s rights and letting government’s work smoothly, he said.

Spokesperson Capital Administration and Development Division Attique-ur-Rehman said that the ministry would support the SZABMU in any technical issue emerged after separation of both the entities and in the amended act.

He said that minister of state for CADD had vowed to provide land to the university and would also support if any issue of legal status of the institution came up.

The SZABMU and the PIMS were merged in 2013 through an act after the former was established by the previous government.

The merging of both institutions had created administrative hurdles when the vice chancellor of the university was given top official position of the PIMS also.

After a long legal fight, the PIMS employees successfully managed to separate the hospital from the university through the SZABMU Amendment Act 2017 from both houses of the Parliament.

The bill has yet to be signed by the President.

As per the act, the Federal Medical and Dental College will be the teaching hospital of the SZABMU.

The act also provides that the teaching faculty of the PIMS presently serving at the SZABMU would be transferred to the FMDC.