PMDC orders closure of two colleges

ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan Medical and Dental Council (PMDC) has advised 1,000 students from the Yusra Medical and Dental College Islamabad (YMDCI) and Continental Medical College in Lahore to submit their college preferences, as it has been decided that both institutions will be shut down and their students moved to other colleges.

YMDCI Principal retired Brig Mohammad Sultan told Dawn this decision has put the future of the college’s 500 students at stake. Students should at least have been directed to leave the college when the new academic session begins in January 2019, he said.

But PMDC Registrar Dr Waseem Hashmi said the future of the students of both colleges had already been disturbed, and the council’s decision to adjust them in other institutions will secure and streamline their future.

In a letter available with Dawn, students were told that the PMDC executive committee has recommended the closure of YMDCI and directed for its students to be adjusted in other recognised medical colleges.

Principal of Islamabad-based college says decision has put future of 500 students at stake

The letter, signed by Dr Hashmi, states: “In compliance to the above, you are directed to provide the enclosed performs duly filled in all aspects to the undersigned as early as possible. However, it is the right of council to adjust any student in any medical college at its own discretion.”

The letter is applicable to all those currently studying at the college; students who have left for any reason - such as being struck off, dropping out or migrating - will not be entertained in the adjustment, it said.

Mr Sultan said YMDCI applied for registration in 2009 but was rejected for its lack of facilities. It met these deficiencies and applied against in 2010 and was registered.

“The National Accountability Bureau began investigating colleges registered during the tenure of Dr Asim Hussain,due to allegations that colleges were registered after taking bribes. Inspection teams visited the college twice and even held a surprise visit. The last inspection was onFeb 27this year.

“We were told that the cantonment board hospital, which was affiliated with the college as the teaching hospital, was not up to the mark. So we made an agreement with a private hospital in the twin cities, but now we have been told that the college’s declaration has been cancelled,” he said.

He alleged that the PMDC was against the YMDCI. The council had sealed the YMDCI a few years ago, after which the college went to court.

“We have a six-storey state-of-the-art college building in Zone V. There are 200 faculty members in the college. But suddenly we have been directed to close the college and students have been told to select 11 medical colleges where they want to be shifted,” he said.

He said 140 students, of which 100 are women, have been living at the hostel.

“Some of the female students belong to the tribal areas of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Gilgit-Baltistan, southern Punjab and other areas, so it won’t be possible for them to find places in hostels,” he said, adding: “The next exams are going to be held within a month, so it would have been much better if the council had allowed students to continue studying until the examine and they could have been sent to other colleges after that.”

The principal appealed to the chief justice of Pakistan to carry out a “neutral inspection” of the college, saying: “We are sure we have all the facilities required by the council. Moreover, the council has no right to put the future of 500 students at stake.”

A council official who requested anonymity said the council has been working to address YMDCI’s issues for three years.

“The fact is that a number of times, students and their parents contacted the council and asked for action to be taken because there were so many deficiencies,” he said.

Published in Dawn, September 2nd, 2018

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