ISLAMABAD: Peshawar’s Al-Razi Medical College, whose recognition by the Health Ministry shortly before its decentralisation last year aroused controversy, has been denied permission by Pakistan Medical and Dental Council (PMDC) to admit 100 MBBS (Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery) students annually.
The reason being the lack of adequate finances, necessary faculty and proper attached teaching hospital. “Al-Razi Medical College, Peshawar, has not shown evidence to own a land for its own hospital or own college building nor has it demonstrated adequate funds to back its undertaking of fulfilling the minimum faculty and facilities laid down in the criteria. Also, the college’s present building is rented one that is another violation of PMDC criteria. The college doesn’t have the faculty to teach students with the management declining to produce the faculty state or even provide the name of the principal. The management’s efforts in recruitment of faculty leave much to be desired. Since Al-Razi Medical College, Peshawar, doesn’t meet the minimum requirements of finances, faculty or hospital so in pursuance of Section 11 of PMDC Ordinance-1962, the Council resolves to recommend to the federal government for notification that it is not fit for grant of recognition,” read the minutes of a PMDC meeting held in Islamabad of late.
Just five days before being left without portfolio due to his ministry’s devolution to provinces last year in line with the 18th Amendment, the-then health minister MNA Riaz Hussain Pirzada got Al-Razi Medical College recognised by the ministry overlooking right through rules under which only PMDC can register medical and dental educational institutions.
Finding the notification in breach of PMDC Ordinance 1962 and para 19 of the Supreme Court judgment PLD 2007 SC 323, PMDC, which had already refused to accept Peshawar Cantonment General Hospital owned by the Cantonment Board as Al-Razi Medical College’s own hospital as was claimed and linked its consent to the recognition request with the ownership of a 150-bed hospital by the college, recommended to the then director general (health) in writing its early withdrawal.
Acting on the advice, the ministry held the June 25 notification in abeyance through a notification (No F 3-35/2010 MER dated 30/06/2011) on June 30, to the anger of Pirzada, who called the file of the notification, wrote a personal note about its immediate withdrawal and ordered an inquiry into the move. Later in the day, the ministry was decentralised leaving Pirzada without ministerial portfolio.
There followed the upholding of Al-Razi Medical College’s June 25 recognition by Islamabad High Court and its subsequent challenging by PMDC in the Supreme Court, which first stopped the private college from functioning and later directed the council to call an urgent meeting to make a recommendation to the federal government on the matter. In line with the court orders, PMDC took up the matter on February 6 in Islamabad with the college’s representatives led by executive director Nasir Khan Khattak in attendance.