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April 23, 2019

PMDC cracks down on doctors’ negligence


April 23, 2019

Islamabad: In a long-awaited crackdown on medical negligence, the Pakistan Medical and Dental Council (PMDC) has cancelled the licences of two medical doctors for preparing false postmortem reports and ordered the start of criminal proceedings against them.

The Council, which here with PMDC president Prof Tariq Iqbal Bhutta in the chair, also approved disciplinary action against 10 doctors over medical negligence besides issuing notices to four to explain their conduct and ordered one to undergo the necessary training.

It approved the issuance of advisories to 10 hospitals over the failure of systems and management and decided to send them to the relevant provincial health commissions for further inquiry.

The participants reviewed the PMDC's inspection report about the privately-owned Rawal Medical College, Islamabad, and decided to de-recognise the college over deficiencies and said the students would be adjusted in recognised colleges in the area under the law.

They also ordered the relevant section to inform the court hearing the matter about the de-recognition for further proceedings. The Council also approved the structure of new evaluation criteria for medical and dental colleges and decided to make their periodical performance evaluation and ratings public for the information of the people concerned.

Under the criteria, the colleges with lower ratings will have a fixed period of one to two years to improve performance and in case of failure, they will face action, including suspension of admissions and subsequent de-recognition.

The council decided that all public medical colleges would be evaluated for performance and rated to enable the provincial governments and universities concerned to focus on their improvement.

The colleges improving performance will receive incentives including more seats. The Council said the inspections would be carried out using an online reporting system to avoid latter interference, while detailed tools, proforma and guidelines for it would finalised and approved within two weeks to start pending inspections and set a schedule of performance evaluation for the existing colleges.

The colleges will be provided with the new criteria in advance for self-evaluation. The Council also examined the proposal about the introduction of a centralised entrance examination to medical and dental programmes and forwarded it to the relevant committee for consideration and making recommendations.

The Council also initiated work on improving the central induction programme introduced for the first time this year. It suspended senior officers including a deputy registrar, an assistant registrar and five others over various inquiries and ordered the issuance of show cause notices to them for hearing.

The Council ordered the registration of an FIR against a doctor over the theft of a file besides the start of disciplinary action. It also approved the immediate advertising of the posts of registrar, director (finance), and external auditor and asked the HR committee to formulate the necessary criteria for the heads of every department and advertise them at the earliest in line with the new service rules sent to the legal and regulatory committee for vetting for approval by the council.

The Council decided to hold a seminar and consultative meeting with the provincial health commissions to focus on the issues of quality of services and systems at hospitals regulated by the commissions and initiating a consultative process with the stakeholders on developing a more robust and merit based promotion and appointment criteria for faculty at teaching hospitals.

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