Spotlight on 21 institutes: Medics oblivious to high cost of dubious courses

Spotlight on 21 institutes: Medics oblivious to high cost of dubious courses
Lahore: Twenty-one leading medical institutions in the country are ‘illegally’ running several postgraduate training programmes, jeopardising the future of hundreds of students.

The College of Physicians and Surgeons Pakistan is among the institutions many postgraduate programmes of which have not been recognised by the Pakistan Medical and Dental Council (PMDC).

These institutions have neither applied for the PMDC recognition of postgraduate programmes nor have they heeded the warning letters and reminders by the Council.

The documents available with Dawn reveal that the PMDC has issued “last warning letters” to the administrations of the medical institutions concerned asking them to stop admitting students for unregistered programmes.

Issued on May 30, 2011, the letter warns: “You are categorically instructed not to admit/enroll any student unless notification of recognition of the qualification and institution by the Federal Government is issued in terms of Section 16 of PMDC Ordinance 1962. “It is further informed that admitting and training students in an unrecognized course is not legal and is a violation of the PMDC Ordinance 1962 and the judgment of the Supreme Court of Pakistan in PLD 2007 SC 323.”

Earlier, the PMDC had sought from all the postgraduate medical institutions complete details of recognised qualifications that were added to Third Schedule (Section 16) of the PMDC ordinance.

The PMDC registrar, in a letter of May 31, 2011 addressed to the Punjab University vice chancellor, said: “You are required to specify specialties for MS and MD programmes. You are also required to provide a complete list of affiliated training institutes for additional postgraduate programmes for each specialty programme along with the names and qualifications of the supervisers and concurrence from the institution conducting training.”

During process of streamlining the postgraduate section came to know that these institutions were running many programmes without getting prior approval by the PMDC. The matter was later placed in the Postgraduate Medical/Dental Education Committee meeting which considered the case regarding qualifications of CPSP.

The committee meeting on June 2 expressed its disappointment over the state of affairs. It decided to contact the CPSP to get its unregistered programmes recognised.

According to the documents, the Institute of Management Studies, Peshawar has launched MPH and DHPM programmes and their training which was not included in the Third Schedule in terms of Section 16 (PMDC ordinance).

Similarly, the Provincial Health Services Academy, Peshawar has launched ‘unregistered’ MPH programme.

The other unregistered postgraduate programmes launched by the medical institutions are: MPhil in Physiology, Biochemistry, Microbiology and Endocrinology qualifications and training by Hazara University Mansehra; PMH qualification and its training by Executive Development Centre, ICMS, University Campus, Peshawar; Gomal Medical College, D.I. Khan; Postgraduate Medical Institute, Quetta; Institute of Public Health, Quetta; Centre of Advance Studies, Vaccinology & Biochemistry, Quetta?

?MPhil in Physiology and Biochemistry, and MPH qualifications and training by Institute of Molecular Biology & Biochemistry, Lahore; MHM and DHM qualifications and training by Institute of Public Health, Lahore; MPhil Oral (Pathology), Anatomy, Dentistry, Community Medicine and Morbid Anatomy qualifications by Shaikh Zayed Postgraduate Medical Institute, Lahore; DPM qualification and its training by Postgraduate Medical Institute, Lahore.

?MPhil in Reproductive Physiology, Biochemistry, Molecular Biology, and MD (General Medicine) qualifications and its training by Quaid-i-Azam University, Islamabad; MPhil in Morbid Anatomy, Histopathology, Microbiology and Endocrinology qualifications and its training by Quaid-i-Azam Postgraduate Medical College, PIMS, Islamabad; MPhil programme by Hamdard College of Medicine, Karachi?

?DLO qualification and its training by Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Institute, BMSI, Karachi; DIP (Paeads Surgery), MS (Orthodontics) programmes by Liaqat Medical College, Jamshoro; DIP (Heamatology), MPhil in Clinical Pathology, DIP (Diabetology) qualifications and their training by Baqai Medical College, Karachi; MPhil in Pharmacology and Pathology qualifications and their training by Armed Forces Institute of Pathology, Rawalpindi?

?MHA and its training by Institute of Administrative Sciences, Lahore; and DMRD, MPhil in Physiology and Biochemistry, MPH programmes and their training by University of Health Sciences, Lahore.

The committee unanimously decided that “since a uniform policy is being followed by all postgraduate medical colleges/universities, the CPSP should also be asked to get all its postgraduate programmes recognised by the PMDC, running in and outside Pakistan, so that their activity is legalised if they (programmes) get notified by the Ministry of Health like all other recognised additional postgraduate qualifications added in Third Schedule.”

The PMDC registrar informed the committee that it had been his highest priority to make efforts to establish the working of the Council according to the PMDC Ordinance 1962.

The committee appreciated the efforts made by the postgraduate section and desired that the PMDC rules should be followed by all institutions. It also expressed satisfaction over the fact that the Third Schedule had been updated.

The PMDC has also compiled and circulated a comprehensive list of the recognised medical and dental qualifications among its members and postgraduate institutions. Dawn

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