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LAHORE, June 5: Pakistan Medical Association (PMA) has strongly criticised the Pakistan Medical and Dental Council (PMDC) for changing the teacher-to-student ratio in medical colleges across the country, alleging it was only meant to benefit private owners of such institutions.

The PMA said the lowering of the ratio considerably by the Council, which meant fewer teachers for more students, would badly affect the standard and quality of the education at 108 public and private sector medical colleges of the country.

“If the decision is not taken back, in the years to come our medical colleges will be producing quacks instead of quality doctors,” a PMA press release issued on Sunday said.

PMA’s Punjab chapter president Dr Ashraf Nizami and its Lahore chapter president Dr Tanveer Anwar said the PMDC was violating its own rules and regulations by taking such steps.

They said according to the PMDC rules there should be one professor, two associate professors, three assistant professors and 10 demonstrators to teach 100 students in each subject. Similarly, they said, for a class of 300 students there should be a at least three professors, six associate professors, nine assistant professors and 30 demonstrators.

Following this pattern, the country’s medical colleges had been producing world class doctors and at present some of the top physicians and surgeons across the world belonged to Pakistan, they added.

The PMA office-bearers said that according to the criteria and regulations recently revised by the PMDC, for 300 medical students in a class the college administration just required one professor, two associate professors, three assistant professors and 16 demonstrators.

The PMA leaders termed it a great injustice that one professor was being forced to work in place of three and 16 demonstrators do the job of 30, arguing it would adversely affect medical education standards.

They said despite the change in the ratio by the PMDC, a majority of private medical colleges were still unable to meet the revised criteria.

They said the change was meant to make private medical education a more ‘profitable business’.

The PMA alleged that some top federal government officials were behind the change in the criteria and were indirectly destroying the health care system of the country.