NAWABSHAH, Aug 27: The bureaucracy’s traditional red-tapism jeopardised the future of more than 350 would-be doctors of Ghulam Mohammad Khan Mahar (GMKM) Medical College of Sukkur as the authorities concerned took too long to complete much-needed faculty and let the college off the PMDC’s list of recognised colleges published on Monday.
The list published by Pakistan Medical and Dental Council (PMDC) in all the national dailies makes no mention of the Sukkur college.
The college, one of the two medical colleges of Upper Sindh, has been struggling for survival due to lack of teaching faculty since its establishment in September 2003 by the then chief minister, Ali Mohammed Mahar, without any proper planning.
The PMDC’s list stressed that the medical colleges not on the list were running MBBS training courses in violation of PMDC Ordinance 1962.
The college has 350 students. About 100 students study in the first year, 100 in the second, 88 in the third and about 35 in the fourth year.
The college intakes students from Sukkur, Khairpur and Ghotki and has allotted 100 seats for the current year.
It has only two professors, four associate professors, six assistant professors, three senior registrars and 12 demonstrators, which fall well short of the criteria set by the PMDC as the health department has failed to make appointments through commission.
The college’s principal, Prof Dr Asadullah Mahar, told Dawn that the health department had sent a summary to the chief minister for the transfer of some teaching faculty from Nawabshah and Chandka medical colleges but it was still was pending.
The college had sent working papers for the promotion of teaching faculty to the secretary of health who would then send them to the departmental promotion committee through chief secretary after verification and scrutiny by health department, but no action had been taken yet in this connection, he said.
Mr Mahar said that the college had arranged a number of teaching faculty members including 10 senior registrars and 16 demonstrators from the Sukkur Civil Hospital and other sources and was also planning to appoint teachers on contract basis and later through commission.
In the meantime, it had requested the health department to transfer some staff from CMC and NMC to complete the college’s faculty, he said and claimed that the college had completed all the formalities required by the PMDC, including hostels for students, a claim categorically rejected by the students.
The worried students told this scribe on condition of anonymity that the college had no permanent hostels for boys and girls, no clean drinking water, no extra curricular activities, no modern library and other facilities required by the PMDC.
They said that they had compromised for the sake of their future, which was hanging in balance after the PMDC took it off the recognised colleges’ list.
They said that even after spending almost 3-4 years in the college when they were near completing graduation they were still uncertain about their future.
They complained that the Sindh government did not take any interest in their problems. Whenever they made any complaint, they were punished by failure in examinations, they charged.
They demanded that the chief minister take personal interest in their problem and direct the health department to make appointments of teaching staff on contract basis or allow them to migrate to Chandka or Nawabshah medical colleges.
Prof Masood Ameen Khan, vice-chancellor of Dow University of Health Sciences and vice-president of Pakistan Medical and Dental Council told Dawn that the college could complete its faculty and then inform the PMDC, which would send a team to visit it within ten days of the receipt of such a letter.
He said that the council was scheduled to visit medical colleges and decide about their recognition by July 15, but it had delayed the visit due to some reasons.