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February 9, 2019

Doctors’ association demands PMDC ordinance be replaced with another law


February 9, 2019

Calling for an immediate withdrawal of an ordinance promulgated by President Arif Alvi regarding the Pakistan Medical and Dental Council (PMDC), the Pakistan Medical Association (PMA) has demanded that an ad hoc committee comprising three to four persons be formed to look after the affairs of the PMDC, which is the regulatory body in the country for medical practitioners and education, until a better law is enacted.

“The PMA is very much concerned about the present situation of chaos and confusion in the PMDC that has badly affected the working of the council. On 5th January, 2019 an ordinance was promulgated by the President of Pakistan, according to which a 17-member hand-picked council will be nominated to run the affairs of PMDC with ultimate power. The PMA has already rejected this ordinance,” PMA Secretary General Dr Qaiser Sajjad said on Friday.

He maintained that following the promulgation of the ordinance, the previous ad hoc committee headed by Justice Shakirullah Jan ceased to exist and no new council had been in place since then. The PMDC seems to be in limbo, Dr Sajjad remarked.

“This situation is absolutely not acceptable to the PMA and doctors fraternity. The association has already written letters to the president and prime minister to withdraw this ordinance. We have also written letters to all the heads of political parties to support the PMA in this regard.”

The PMA secretary general was of the view that the present ordinance should be immediately abolished, as it would not be passed by both the houses of parliament, which would lead to another new ad hoc committee and the musical chairs would go on.

“We demand a new ad hoc body of three to four persons of integrity to manage day-to-day affairs only, which would be given a time frame of not more than 60 days to hold elections,” Dr Sajjad said.

He also demanded that a new ordinance be promulgated for the PMDC after taking into confidence the political parties and all the stakeholders. According to the PMA, a total of 35 members should constitute the PMDC, of whom a majority of 24 members should be elected by doctors representing public and private medical faculty, dental faculty and family physicians from all provinces of the country. The tenure of the new council should be four years, Dr Sajjad said, adding that the PMA wanted an autonomous, independent, honest, ethical and democratic PMDC.

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