ISLAMABAD            -        The ongoing legal battle on the functioning of medical education regulatory body has caused sufferings for hundreds of medical graduates seeking verification and attestation of their documents, The Nation learnt on Wednesday.

Islamabad High Court (IHC) in its order had restored the Pakistan Medical and Dental Council (PMDC) and its employees and declared the formation of Pakistan Medical Commission (PMC) through promulgation of presidential ordinance null and void.

The Ministry of National Health Services (NHS) suspending the day to day affairs had sealed the building 10 days before and suspended the day to day affairs. Meanwhile, the ministry also filed an intra court appeal against restoration of the PMDC.  Dr. Ikram Ali, a foreign medical graduate, waiting for appearing in National Examination Board (NEB) said that hundreds of students are worried because of ongoing situation regarding legal status of the medical education regulatory body.

He said that hundreds of foreign medical graduates appear in exam after every six months to get registered and start their practice.

“We don’t know who is regulating the foreign medical graduates and what will happen to the exam,” he said.

Another foreign medical graduate Dr. Nabeel Ahmed said that medical graduates pay millions for this education in Pakistan and abroad while the departmental frictions have put their future at stake.

He said that the building has been sealed and minor administrative work is being done in another building.

“Entire medical community is in confusion regarding verification and attestation as well,” he said.

Meanwhile, Secretary General Young Doctors Association (YDA) Dr. Salman Kazmi in a letter written to senate urged to restore the PMDC and disapprove the PMC 2019. 

“We the doctors humbly request you to disapprove the Pakistan Medical Commission Bill 2019 as the bill is devastating for the medical profession and shall abolish the regulatory regime and this shall affect all doctors in the country and abroad.” It said that the senate had disapproved the PMDC ordinance 2019, however, similar and somewhat identical provisions of the disapproved PMDC ordinance 2019 and re-promulgated as PMC ordinance 2019 on 21st October 2019.   It alleged that the PMC Bill and PMC has been brought to give benefit to private medical universities and it harms the entire regulatory system at national level and regulatory authority has been transferred to the private universities while the Supreme Court has already held that universities have to be under regulatory regime of PMDC.

It also said that re-promulgation of identical or somewhat identical laws have been disapproved by the Parliament also.

Restored PMDC Registrar Brig (Retd) Hafeez-ud-Din commenting on the ongoing situation said that PMDC and its employees were restored while PMC was declared unlawful by the court.

He said that after the court decision, the administrative work should be done by the PMDC staff which is a legal body. He also added that after the court decision PMC functions are illegal.

“A senior official of the ministry of NHS had asked to wait in resuming the offices so the time was given to avoid any confrontation,” he said.

Spokesperson Ministry of NHS Sajid Shah said that the matter of PMDC is in court and nothing could be said at this stage.