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March 31, 2020

PMDC opens in an hour on IHC orders

National

March 31, 2020

ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan Medical and Dental Council (PMDC) was opened within an hour on Monday after the Islamabad High Court (IHC) ordered its immediate restoration and stopped the Pakistan Medical Commission (PMC) from registering new doctors. Justice Mohsin Akhtar Kayani heard the plea for restoration of the PMDC.

The Pakistan Medical and Dental Council, a statutory regulatory authority that oversees medical and dental colleges in Pakistan, was dissolved following a presidential ordinance proclaimed on October 21. During hearing, Justice Mohsin remarked that the government had failed to restore the PMDC within the given deadline and ordered its immediate opening and submission of compliance report to the court in one hour.

Expressing annoyance over the non-appearance of the health secretary in the court, Justice Kayani remarked that government’s action was equal to slapping the court in the face. He said the court could sentence the secretary health to six months in prison. He remarked that the government was insulting the courts and for this the court can send minister and top official to the jail.

Justice Kayani remarked that the federal government and health minister should be ashamed of disobeying the court orders for restoration of PMDC. He asked if the council employees were getting salaries or not.

To this, the employees’ lawyer told the court that they were not being paid for the last five months. To this, Justice Kayani remarked that such management deserved jail. Additional attorney general informed the court that the PMDC had open opened and the registrar was allowed to sit in his office. “Owing to the coronavirus threat, we cannot allow other employees to attend the office,” he told the judge.

To this, the PMDC registrar told the court that he had been informed that though he could sit in the office, he wanted to sit with his staff. Justice Kayani remarked that he could not do so in view of the government policy due to the coronavirus threat. “Now you have to decide how much staff do you need to resume working. Only the PMDC can register new doctors, and health ministry has nothing to do with this,” he added. He further remarked the registrar could approve new registration of doctors which were still pending. Justice Kayani ordered the registrar to sit in his office with minimum staff and asked the accountant if the council employees were not receiving salaries.

The court stopped the PMC from registering more doctors. Last month, the Islamabad High Court (IHC) had declared dissolution of the PMDC as ‘null and void’.