ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan Medical and Dental Council (PMDC) conducted a disciplinary committee hearing into the death of a private medical college student in Lahore last month. The council has decided to call students of the college to get their input.

The hearing aimed at investigating the circumstances surrounding the incident and ensuring accountability and adherence to the highest standards of medical education and student welfare.

On April 26 this year, Mahnoor Nadeem, a fourth-year student at Avicenna Medical College Lahore, was found dead in the dormitory under circumstances that raised concerns among students, faculty and the public. Initial reports suggested possible negligence in providing adequate mental health support and campus safety measures.

The PMDC, as the apex regulatory body for medical and dental education, took notice of the alleged misconduct and mistreatment by the medical college towards students.

Says thorough investigation initiated to ascertain facts surrounding incident

According to a statement, in line with its commitment to upholding the highest standards of professionalism, ethics and patient care, the PMDC initiated a thorough investigation to ascertain the facts surrounding the incident.

It said officials of the college were called to appear in front of the disciplinary committee hearing at the PMDC. The hearing was chaired by the PMDC president and attended by members of the committee.

“The Disciplinary Committee aims to establish a clear timeline and identify any lapses in protocol or support systems that may have contributed to the student’s demise followed by determining the extent of the college’s responsibility in providing a safe and supportive environment for its students, to evaluate the existing policies and procedures at college regarding student mental health services and campus safety, and to recommend necessary improvements, to hold accountable any individuals or entities found to be negligent in their duties, and to implement corrective measures to prevent future incidents,” it stated.

PMDC President Prof Dr Rizwan Taj stated, “The loss of a young life is a tragedy beyond words. We are committed to ensuring that all medical institutions in Pakistan uphold the highest standards of care and support for their students.

“This hearing is a crucial step in addressing the concerns raised by this unfortunate event and in preventing such incidents in the future.”

PMDC has requested the students of the medical college to also appear in front of the disciplinary committee so that the matter can be investigated further in a more transparent manner.

The investigation will focus on evaluating the institutional practices and policies concerning student welfare, ensuring compliance.

Additionally, the PMDC will collaborate with relevant authorities and stakeholders to implement measures aimed at preventing similar incidents in the future and fostering a supportive and conducive learning environment for medical students across the country.

Published in Dawn, May 15th, 2024

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