KARACHI: The Pakistan Medical Association (PMA) on Wednesday said it would not accept the “undemocratic” ordinance promulgated by the president of Pakistan allowing the prime minister, chief ministers, and armed forces to nominate their members to run the Pakistan Medical and Dental Council (PMDC), the premier body that regulated medical affairs in the country.
“It is entirely undemocratic, unconstitutional and would not be accepted by the entire medical fraternity,” said Dr S.M. Qaisar Sajjad at a press conference at the PMA House.
He said despite a promise recently made by the health minister to the PMA for running the PMDC democratically, President Arif Alvi had signed an ordinance through which a 17-member PMDC body would be formed through nominations by the PM, CMs, CPSP (College of Physicians and Surgeons Pakistan) and the armed forces.
PMDC regulates health bodies, medical educational institutions and bodies and was being run on ad-hoc basis for the past 11 months after the apex court dissolved and replaced it with a nine-member council headed by a former SC judge.
Accompanied by PMA president Dr Ikram Tunio, treasurer Dr Qazi Wasiq, PMA Karachi president Dr Khalil Mukaddam, and other officials, Dr Sajjad said the fraternity was deeply upset and concerned about yet another nominated PMDC, which was against the basic principles of democracy and laws of the country.
“We demand the government to immediately repeal the ordinance,” adding that the government should hold elections and run it as an independent regulatory body.
The PMA official said they had summoned the central council’s meeting in Islamabad next week where the issue would be discussed.
“We warn the government to act wisely; otherwise it should forget all other issues and prepare itself to deal with doctors only, who would make functioning of the government extremely hard.”
He said the PMDC was a doctors’ body and all its expenses were borne by doctors.
“It is a regulatory body to keep an eye over performance of doctors and medical education in the country and the doctors’ fraternity wants it to be an elected institution that functions democratically.”
He added people with vested interests could be behind such a move to gain monetary benefits by installing people of their choice in the PMDC through nominations.
Published in Dawn, January 10th, 2019