SUKKUR: A large number of teachers, students, members of civil society and general public and employees of the Ghulam Muham­mad Mahar Medical College took to the streets here the other day to protest imposition of ban on admissions in the beleaguered medical college by the Pakistan Medical and Dental Council.

The protesters marched in procession to the press club where they held a demonstration.

The PMDC issued a notice to the college on Sept 15 following a visit of the college by its inspection team on June 15, detailing ‘deficiencies’ in the institution including infrastructure issues and shortage of faculty and equipment as per the set criteria. The council’s official website said ‘admission stopped’ in the GMMMC for the session 2015-16.

The protesters’ leaders Dr Rafiq Memon, Zulfiqar Mahar, Yar Mohammad Katpar and others said the ban was an injustice with Sukkur residents and demanded that not only the ban be lifted from new admissions but recruitment of doctors and paramedics be also made and construction work of the college’s building be completed immediately.

The college employees took out a separate rally which also terminated in front of the press club. The protesters urged the government to come to the rescue of the only medical college of Sukkur.

Earlier, Sindh Minister for Local Bodies Syed Nasir Hussain Shah visited the medical college a couple of days before and vowed that the closure of GMMMC, a constituent college of the Shaheed Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto Medical University (SMBBMU), would not be acceptable nor would it be allowed.

He said that all the issues on the basis of which the college had been given a notice by the PMDC would be resolved. The Sindh chief minister would extend every kind of help in this regard and PPP chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari would also be contacted to rescue the college, he said.

The minister told journalists after meeting the college management at the office of the principal that all the problems including shortage of teachers and staff would be resolved on a priority basis. Transfer of faculty members from the GMMMC to other colleges was unjust and “we are trying to talk to higher authorities in this regard,” he said.

According to the sources, most of the senior faculty members of the GMMMC have been transferred to Khairpur Medical College in Khairpur, hometown of the Sindh chief minister, which has resulted in the ‘deficiencies’ pointed out by the PMDC.

Mr Shah said the college was being deprived of its share in the funds collected by SMBBMU from self-financing scheme and he would talk to the university’s vice chancellor about it.

He said the medical college was the right of Sukkur residents and efforts would be made to raise its budget to help complete remaining work on the construction of the college building. “We have to save the college at any cost,” he said.

He said the budget of Sukkur civil hospital had also been raised to Rs200 million to resolve the hospital’s nagging issues and help it purchase MRI and CT scan machines.

Published in Dawn, October 5th , 2015

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