PMC’s mega scams to be investigated, says Qadir Patel

F.P. Report

ISLAMABAD: Minister for Health, Abdul Qadir Patel on Thursday said that the government had decided to start an investigation on illegalities and irregularities that occurred during the tenure of the past government in the Pakistan Medical Commission (PMC).
Addressing a press conference, the minister said that as per media reports the PMC administration had signed a testing contract illegally, which was also a big scam. “First they awarded a contract to the auditor of the same organization and then the registration of the organization was made later after the contract. We want to move their cases to NAB as there is no record of many fake medical doctors who claimed themselves, doctors.”
He said that the PMC also introduced the forced ‘golden shakehand scheme’ for employees under which on one hand they made many employees jobless while on the other hand, they started giving jobs on heavy salaries to their blue-eyed people besides stopping the pension of 30 families. The minister announced that now medical students will not further face irrelevant exam burdens like the high-percentage NLE tests which are unfair and unjustifiable to the medical students who already had to pass many tests like MBBS admission or MBBS’s various stages tests etc. “We don’t want to create hurdles for our brilliant students making them under stress.”
Qadir Patel said that the National Assembly on Wednesday passed the Pakistan Medical and Dental Council Bill-2022, aimed at reforming the PMDC to make it a democratic, independent, and powerful body for producing professional doctors to serve the country. He expressed the hope that the Senate will soon pass this bill. He said that this legislation was necessary as membership of the Pakistan Medical Commission (PMC) had been given mostly to non-medical professionals and irrelevant people making policies for medical and dental professionals.
“One could imagine that if medical policies making tasks are assigned to the irrelevant professionals what would be the outcome.” He said that the PMC Act which was a black law in the history of the country had been repealed by the National Assembly as it was not well-thought-out and would not be acceptable. “It is time to restore PMDC with reforms to make it a democratic, independent, and powerful body that can produce professional doctors who can work for the country.”
He said that there were many facts behind the passing of this PMC Act in the tenure of the previous government. “We want to investigate all such media reports on the issue of PMC.”
He said that unfortunately there was a state within a state as the ‘free-hand’ policy was given to the management of the PMC by the past government. “No one was here to ask anything on the issues like appointing anyone on heavy salary, closing of any medical college without any reason, or imposing fines.”
He added, that everything happened on the basis of personal liking and disliking as they had established a board and unfortunately many board members were either irrelevant to the post or there was a case of conflict of interest.
He said that the PMC had not only raised the fees but also established a central testing system under the name of the Medical and Dental College Admission Test (MDCAT). They intentionally increased the passing percentage due to which it was impossible for many Pakistani students to pass this test.
“They played a dirty game and illegally passed many students, which is the worst example of favoritism and nepotism,” he added.
He said that 55% of seats only from Sindh remained vacant while 16,000 students had to get admission abroad which resulted in the loss of billions to the national exchequer. The management of the PMC also remained involved in illegal appointments besides other illegalities.
He said that as there was no equal representation of provinces in the PMC, now equal share was given in the present bill including Gilgit Baltistan, besides representation to the private and public medical universities and colleges.
He said that many fake departments were established and the health system was run through a Facebook account from the USA during the tenure of the past government. He added a family member of the former Prime Minister was actually running the affairs of the ministry of health through the internet.
He added several members they appointed were foreign nationals like many were living in foreign countries. He added same is the case with the members of the National Institute of Health (NIH), who mostly lived in foreign countries like Canada, the USA, etc., and issued directions from there.