PESHAWAR: The Khyber Medical University has begun holding a new examination to determine the eligibility of medical and dental graduates with both local and foreign degrees to take up jobs and do private practice in the province.

The development comes following the resentment of the doctors and dentists, who insist that the National Licensing Examination, an initiative of the national medical regulator, PMC, is illogical.

According to them, making them sit the NLE after passing the MBBS and BDS examinations, which is also conducted by the PMC, makes no sense.

The doctors and dentists demanded the withdrawal of the NLE condition for the local graduates and warned if the demand wasn’t met, they would stage street protests.

Doctors call NLE illogical, threaten street protests

Meanwhile, Dr Kashif Ali of the KMU told Dawn that the graduates of Pakistani and foreign medical and dental colleges were eligible to sit the examination to be conducted four time a year.

As the focal person for the examination, he said in accordance with the PMC policy and the approval of the federal government, both national and foreign medical graduates can appear in the NLE.

“The examination is conducted in two parts with the written one conducted by the PMC and the objective structured clinical examination held by the KMU,” he said.

Dr Kashif said every Pakistani medical and dental student graduated after Jan 2021 had to sit the NLE.

He said the minimum 70 per cent marks in graduation was the eligibility criteria for the test.

The focal person said the PMC had begun the NLE practical exam in KP in collaboration with the KMU. He said in the first phase, a total of 308 candidates sat the exam over three days.

“We are examining four circuits every day from 8am to 6pm and compile and submit the exam results later the same day,” he said.

KMU Vice-Chancellor Prof Ziaul Haq told Dawn that they had put in place elaborate arrangements holding the tests in transparent manner.

He said all examiners, who were working in Khyber Teaching Hospital, Hayatabad Medical Complex and other medical colleges and hospitals, had been selected by the PMC to supervise the test.

“We are running 26 stations in each circuit, examining 52 candidates in the morning and 52 in the afternoon. All our examiners are at least assistant professors and senior registrars,” he said.

Prof Zia said members of the PMC’s staff were supervising and monitoring the examination through CCTV under the Covid-19 precautionary measures.

“Infrastructure and administrative and examination support, including simulated patients and invigilators, is provided by the KMU, while examiners are selected by the PMC,” he said.

The VC said the PMC in collaboration with KMU had successfully conducted the first phase of exam under strict examination rules and would continue in the future. He said the test began on Friday would continue until Sunday.

“A total of 308 graduates will be examined during three days. The exam results will be announced by the PMC,” he said.

The dean of a public sector medical college told Dawn requesting anonymity that despite protests by graduates, the PMC had began holding the NLE, which would ultimately benefit patients.

He said there were 2,000 new medical and dental graduates from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and they also included those from private colleges and therefore, the NLE was important to screen all those before allowing to do jobs or private practice.

The PMC officials told Dawn that the new test was meant to allow intelligent students to get permission for doing service or private practice in the country.

They said there was a series of protests by medical graduates of Chinese, Russian and Central Asian universities and colleges against the NLE, but the government had directed the PMC to streamline the licensing for medical jobs and practices in order to approve (produce) better graduates.

Published in Dawn, October 31st, 2021

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