LAHORE: The vice chancellors of the public sector medical universities, consultants and postgraduate trainees from all over the province gathered here on Monday and furnished a set of recommendations for the regulatory bodies and federal and provincial governments for reforms and promotion of the university degree programmes.
Assembled at a local hotel, over 600 medics, including senior faculty members, held lengthy brainstorming in this respect. They also launched a new platform – the Association of University Physicians and Surgeons of Pakistan (AUPSP)– to represent teaching faculty members, consultants, doctors, postgraduate (PG) trainees and medical students.
University of Health Sciences VC Prof Javed Akram and Punjab Medical University, Faisalabad, VC Prof Zafar Chaudhry, former VC of King Edward Medical University (KEMU) Prof Asad Aslam and Prof Naveed Ashraf were the key figures who supervised the process of furnishing recommendations.
A good number of senior consultants from Lahore, Faisalabad, Multan, Rawalpindi and Rahim Yar Khan also joined them besides many others from Islamabad and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP).
Formulate reform proposals for govt, regulatory bodies for varsity programmes
However, absence of the VCs of the Fatima Jinnah Medical University and the KEMU in the meeting was noted.
In a declaration, the AUPSP and other participants committed full support to health reforms initiated by Prime Minister Imran Khan and the Punjab government. They also discussed various issues/problems pertaining to the promotion of the university degree programmes, including MD/MS, MDS, MPhil and PhD, besides PG trainees and doctors holding university degrees.
The participants formulated a set of recommendations under the auspices of the AUPSP. The recommendations are meant for the prime minister, the Ministry of National Health Services & Regulations, Pakistan Medical & Dental Council president, Higher Education Commission Pakistan chairman and the Punjab health minister. In the recommendations, the AUPSP demanded representation of medical university postgraduate fraternity in the PMDC and removal of third schedule scrutiny for all medical universities in order to start any clinical or non-clinical programme.
The association proposed to the NHSRC/PMDC to register all eligible pending cases of MD, MS, MDS, MPhil and PhD which are being discriminated against for last many years, especially the degree holders of the Punjab University.
The AUPSP proposed to the PMDC to declare eligible the senior medics having dentistry background for posts of VCs of any medical universities for bearing level III or higher qualification recognised by the council. It urged the federal and provincial governments not to appoint candidates appointees having conflict of interest with any medical university education across Pakistan or those having two or three public offices simultaneously.
The new association demanded the PMDC recognise the university postgraduate degrees and diplomas and provide the university degree holder medics with opportunities of international employment in the Gulf countries.
It also recommended to the federal and provincial governments to ensure representation of medical postgraduate degree holders in all the committees proposed to work on policy recommendation related to all medical universities and affiliated teaching institutes.
The AUPSP appealed to the health departments of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Balochistan, GB and Azad Jammu and Kashmir to start level 3 MD, MS, MDS and diplomas in their teaching hospitals under their own public sector universities.
If the facility of universities is not available in the abovementioned provinces, the UHS should be granted no objection certificate (NOC) to start these programmes there.
All the private medical universities should start clinical medical degree programmes and diplomas in their teaching hospitals and basic sciences where applicable.
The AUPSP further proposed to prepare feasibility to encourage PhD and postdoctoral diplomas in all basic sciences and clinical domains besides resolving the core and general issues related to postgraduate basic sciences and clinical diplomas.
Published in Dawn, March 19th, 2019