PMDC restored by IHC

IHC restores Pakistan Medical and Dental Council

The Islamabad High Court declared the presidential ordinance to dissolve Pakistan Medical and Dental Council (PMDC) null and void and restores the PMDC and also reinstated its employees. Justice Mohsin Akhtar Kayani announced the short order in the court in which honourable judge ordered to dissolve the newly-formed Pakistan Medical Commission (PMC). The IHC declare the PMC illegal.  
The sacked employees of PMDC moved to the court against their sacking and dissolution of PMDC. The registrar of PMDC, retired Brig Dr Hafizuddin and 31 employees moved the IHC, arguing that an act of parliament gave powers to the government to dissolve the PMDC, but its president, vice president and the executive committee would stay intact till the appointment of newcomers after elections which were to be held within a year.
The petition said services of PMDC employees were terminated without giving them a proper opportunity of hearing. It had expressed apprehensions that the PMC may hire the services of new employees on sanctioned and contractual positions through other modes after issuing advertisements which would jeopardise the vested rights to serve the council’s previous employees.
It had requested the court to declare the ordinance for the establishment of the PMC as unconstitutional and in the meantime allow PMDC employees to continue working in the newly-formed commission.
In October of last year, President Dr Arif Alvi had promulgated an ordinance which had left the PMDC dissolved and paved the way for the establishment of PMC. The national health services ministry through the Islamabad district administration and police also took over possession of the PMDC building and informed its 220 employees that the office would remain shut for a week.
The PMA and young doctors rejected the formation of PMC instead of PMDC. 

 The authors of the new law did not even consult the management of the public medical institutions, bodies representing doctors and other stakeholders before unilaterally and secretly implementing the decision. The haste shown by the government in bringing in the ordinance without wider consultation gives credence to the allegations that the step had been taken in connivance with the management of the private medical institutions and to please their politically influential owners.

The PMDC — the statutory regulatory authority responsible for prescribing standards for, and governing, medical education and profession in the country — had for some time been enforcing stricter criteria to regulate the mushrooming of private medical colleges in the country in line with an earlier apex court decision.
Some of these colleges were shut down and others were made to stop admitting students who could afford to pay huge sums in donations, even if they were at the bottom of the merit list. In order to mitigate the financial burden on middle-class students, the PMDC had capped the fee for all private institutions.
The teaching hospitals attached with these institutions were made to comply with stricter criteria and improve facilities. It is quite obvious that the owners of these colleges did not like the restrictions that would cut into their massive profits and force them to provide better facilities to their students.

Special correspondent

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