ISLAMABAD: The National Assembly Standing Committee on National Health Services, Regulation and Coordination on Thursday approved the Transplantation of Human Organs and Tissue (amendment) Bill to stop illegal sale and purchase of human organs.

The committee meeting was held here at the Parliament Lodges with MNA Khalid Hussain Magsi in the chair. After detailed deliberations on the said bill, moved by MNA Kishwar Zehra, the NA committee unanimously passed it after a slight amendment. It was decided that the words ‘uncles’ and ‘aunts’ will be excluded from the donors list to avoid misuse of the law.

MNA Zehra said that the law was brought to stop illegal sale and purchase of human organs while the terms ‘uncles’ and ‘aunts’ as donors would create an ambiguity and there was a chance of misuse of the interpretation. The mover of the bill said that the donor would be a close blood relative like son, daughter, sister or brother.

Director General of the health ministry told the committee that work on human organs transplantation needed to be done on national level because matching of tissues in this surgery was very important. He said that the life of human organ in some cases was only 72 hours.

Meanwhile, during discussion on the affairs of Pakistan Medical and Dental Council (PMDC), the committee showed its displeasure over the change in composition of its board as four of its members had been ousted without taking the council president into confidence.

The committee directed the health ministry to hold an inquiry into the issue and submit a report to it.

It observed that required marks for appearing in entry test for medical colleges had been increased to 70 per cent in FSc.

However, to encourage the students from backward areas of Balochistan and Sindh the committee recommended lowering the merit from 70 per cent to 60 per cent marks.

PMDC President Dr Tariq Bhutta told the committee that the eligibility criteria for appearing in entry test for medical colleges had been increased to 70 per cent marks in the country except Balochistan. He said that the decision had been taken to improve the standard of medical entry exams and select the most qualified students in public and private sector medical colleges.

The PMDC head said that every year around 100,000 students appeared in the entry test for medical colleges against 18,000 seats.

The committee directed for regular inspection and evaluation of the medical colleges and if any was found not meeting the given standard it might be given some time to bring improvement otherwise its closure be ordered.

The committee said that there should be no grading of private medical colleges and all approved colleges should be given similar status, otherwise the students who would study in relatively less graded colleges would face questions in their career. It appreciated the efforts of PMDC for online registration of doctors.

MNAs Dr Haider Ali Khan, Nasir Khan Musazai, Jai Parkash, Dr Mohammad Afzal Khan Dhandla, Dr Nousheen Hamid, Dr Seemi Bokhari, Ms Fouzia Behram, Prof Dr Shahnaz Naseer Baloch, Nisar Ahmed Cheema, Samina Matloob, Mahesh Kumar Malani and others attended the meeting.

Published in Dawn, August 2nd, 2019