THE National Assembly on Sept 18 passed a bill to replace Pakistan Medical and Dental Council (PMDC) with the Pakistan Medical Council (PMC) for which passing national licencing examinations (NLE) before getting certificate to practice has been made mandatory.
Besides, all the undergraduates, including those who have cleared first part of FCPS, are also required to pass the NLE.
Prime Minister Imran Khan, while addressing the National Assembly, said that this way the standard of medical and dental colleges would be raised to the international level. He appreciated this move a year ago to amend the PMDC rules.
The questions is: will the already employed dental and medical officers have to take NLE? Will they be able to carry on their jobs with only MBBS and BDS degrees, or all will they be forced to leave the hospitals?
It is pertinent to mention here that the hospitals are already short of doctors and cannot bear the burden of this unplanned bill that National Assembly has passed. With this, hospitals will have a greater shortage of faculties and colleges too will face big pressure of PMDC rules as those colleges having insufficient number of faculties face rejection by PMDC.
All these situations will create big issues for the authorities concerned to replace PMDC by PMC.
Therefore, I would suggest to the government and authorities concerned to take medical professionals into confidence and ensure all required facilities that are given to medical colleges of other countries such as the US, UK and China, before raising their standard merely through a law.
Dr Kashif Mastoi
Published in Dawn, September 23rd, 2020