SIKANDAR HAIDER

DERA GHAZI KHAN

The future of about 500 students of Dera Ghazi Khan Medical College is at stake due to non-recognition of the college by the Pakistan Medical and Dental Council (PMDC) despite the passage of over four years in the process.

According to a report of made public on October 29, 2014 by Ombudsman Punjab, 16 out of 18 posts of professor BS-20, 10 out of 18 of assistant professor BS-19 and 22 out of 24 of assistant professors BS-18 are lying vacant in DG Khan Medical College. On January 1, 2015, Punjab Ombudsman Javed Mahmood had directed the secretary health to fill all sanctioned posts of the faculty of DG Khan Medical College but to no avail.

The foundation stone of the DG Khan Medical College was laid by the Punjab chief minister on November 27, 2010. Its building was constructed at a cost of Rs2 billion. Its first batch of 100 students was admitted in the session 2010-11 at Quaid-i-Azam Medical College Bahawalpur due to under construction building at DG Khan. Later, it was shifted to the building of School of Nursing at DG Khan on November 28, 2011.

Now, it has been shifted to it own campus situated at Jampur Road Degree College Chowk. Medical College Campus consists of 229 acre land having 4 lecture halls, 5 demonstration halls, 4 labs, 1 museum, 1 library, 1 cafeteria, 7 basic departments, one boys’ hostel and one girls’ hostel, admin block and 500-bed Teaching Hospital DG Khan.

However, the PMDC has not recognised DG Khan Medical College due to shortage of faculty members. Dozens of students during a survey complained of non-recognition, and said they were facing confusion and apprehension over delaying by PMDC and the government of Punjab. They demanded that the Punjab government should address the issue on priority base and to end the confusion as uncertainty has been created there. The students expressed disappointment and said non recognition of college by PMDC would be meant discrimination with the backward area. They added that the Punjab chief minister did not want to see such poor students acquire medical education whose parents cannot afford to pay heavy fees of private medical colleges.

When contacted Principal Dr Shamim Hassan said that the chief minister had directed to fill all the vacant posts of DG Khan Medical College and the Health Department was also taking steps for the recruitment of professors and assistant professors in the medical college.

To a question, Shamim said that the process of recognition stands between the Punjab government and the PMDC and the local administration is completely helpless in this respect. He added that DG Khan Medical College is the best one in Punjab in all respects except faculty. He also admitted brilliant medical students are facing the serious confusion in their mind on the issue.

Shamim said that Rawalpindi Medical College and Allama Iqbal Medical College Lahore were also set up in the small buildings with shortage of faulty and today these institutions are known worldwide. He hoped that also DG Khan Medical College would be recognised by PMDC very soon.