ISLAMABAD-Pakistan Medical and Dental Council on Wednesday elected new president and vice president after being run on ad-hoc basis for 13 months.

The 17-member new council notified by Ministry of National Health Services, Regulations and Coordination elected Dr Tariq Bhutta as new president while Dr Amer Zaman as Vice President of the council.

Officials said that Dr Tariq Bhutta secured 11 votes for the slot of president, while his opponent Dr Shoaib Hassan Shah got 5 votes.

Meanwhile, on the post of VP, Dr Amer Zaman secured 10 votes, while his opponent Dr Shabir Lehri received six votes.

Dr Shabir Lehri had earlier served as president of the PMDC.

Elections were conducted at PMDC headquarters. An official said that president and vice president of the council are elected under section 4 (3) of the PMDC Ordinance 2019.

Official said that Dr Syed Shoaib Hassan Shah, Dr Tariq Bhutta, Dr Shabir Lehri and Dr Amer Zaman Khan and contested in the polls for the position of president and vice president of the PMDC.

Dr Shabir Lehri earlier served as president of PMDC before the council was dissolved by the former chief justice Saqib Nisar.

The previous council had remained at loggerheads with private medical colleges association over the students fee structure and registration of some the colleges.

The former CJP in January 2018 had dissolved the 35-member council and formed a 9-member ad-hoc council headed by former Supreme Court judge, Justice Shakirulllah Jan.

Meanwhile, the government was tasked to form new ordinance of the PMDC.

President Dr Arif Alvi had approved new ordinance of PMDC in January and new 17-members council was formed.

The ministry earlier this month notified all 17-members of the council. Names of the council members included Dr Tariq Iqbal Bhutta, Prof Shoaib Hassan Shah, Ali Raza, Prof Aamer Zaman Khan, Prof Amer Bilal, Prof Khalid Usman, Prof Umer Farooq, Prof Saeed Sadiq Hamid, Dr Sulman Jaffar, Prof Muslim Khan, Prof Zafarullah Chaudhry, Maj Gen Prof Saleem Ahmed Khan, Dr Shehla Baqi, Dr Kartar Dawani, Dr Mehmood Haider, Dr Shabir Lehri, Prof Nadeem Samad Sheikh and Prof Mirza Khan.

New PMDC has 12 representatives from civil society, provincial and federal governments, public and private educational institutions, president of College of Physicians and Surgeons Pakistan (CPSP) and Surgeon General of Armed Forces Medical Service.

The PMDC is a statutory regulatory authority that maintains the official register of medical and dental practitioners in Pakistan. Its main function is to “establish a uniform minimum standard of basic and higher qualifications in medicine and dentistry throughout the country”. The council also sets the education standards for medical and dental institutions in Pakistan along with the Higher Education Commission Pakistan.

The council is mandated to form strategies and utilise financial resources, accreditation of medical programmes and recognition and registration of medical and dental educational institutions.

Despite of approval of the ordinance government still has to approve it from the parliament in upcoming months to complete the legislation process.