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ISLAMABAD, June 22: Upon the advice of the Ministry of National Health Services Regulations and Coordination (NHRS), the Pakistan Medical and Dental Council (PMDC) barred seven medical colleges, which did not come up to the council’s criteria, from providing new admissions.

According to the PMDC website, the medical colleges are: Pak Red Crescent Medical & Dental College, Lahore; Al-Tibri Medical College, Karachi; Mohiuddin Islamic Medical College, Mirpur (AJK); Mohammad Medical College, Mirpurkhas, Sindh; Abbottabad International Medical College, Abbottabad; Independent Medical College, Faisalabad and Women Medical College, Abbottabad

“These colleges did not fulfill PMDC’s basic requirements such as ensuring the minimum required teaching staff, so we had to bar these colleges from providing new admissions,” an official of the division said.

Imtiaz Inayat Elahi, Secretary NHRS, told Dawn that the PMDC had been asked to ensure strict vigilance in this matter.

“We asked the PMDC to scrutinise even those medical colleges which had obtained a No-Objection Certificate (NOC) to ensure that the council’s regulations were followed in letter and spirit,” he said.

He added that the federal government would review the performance of PMDC and was also set to amend the PMDC Ordinance 1962.

The council regulates medical education and registers medical professionals under this ordinance, and is an attached department of the NHRS ministry.

Mr Elahi said a policy would be formulated after consulting the NHRS State Minister Saira Afzal Tarar which would discuss whether NOCs should be provided to new medical colleges or a ban should be placed on their registration.

Currently, 128 private and public sector medical and dental colleges are providing education in Pakistan. The PMDC official website shows that 40 of these colleges are registered in Punjab, 37 in Sindh, 24 in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, and three each in Balochistan and Azad Jammu and Kashmir.

Meanwhile, a senior official in NHRS said the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) was probing the registration process of 19 medical colleges which had been registered in a single day during the tenure of the previous government.

“The probe is still in process, but once it is completed, we will know whether the colleges had been awarded the NOCs on merit or not,” said the official.

These medical colleges had also been refrained from providing new admissions by the PMDC till NAB cleared them, he added.

The following medical colleges have been prohibited from providing admission, and their names have been issued on PMDC’s official website.