Govt should have taken doctors’ feedback before introducing PMDC ordinance


PMA rejects newly promulgated PMDC constitution

Zubair Qureshi

The office-bearers of the Pakistan Medical Association (PMA) have unanimously rejected the recently-promulgated Pakistan Medical and Dental Council (PMDC) Ordinance by declaring it a step towards dictatorship in the council and urged the government to withdraw it. The association also appealed the lawmakers to reject the ordinance in Parliament.
Speaking at a press conference at the National Press Club, former President PMA, Dr Ashraf Nizami, current president Dr Ikram Ahmed Tunio, Secretary General Dr Qaisar Sajjad and Joint Secretary Dr Amir Saleen said medical officers and practicing doctors across the country were disappointed with the ordinance.
Secretary General of PMA Dr Qaisar Sajjad said, “As per ordinance promulgated by the President of Pakistan, there will be 17-member PMDC to be nominated by the Prime Minister, provinces, armed forces and the College of Physicians and Surgeons Pakistan. This would damage the council, medical education and the health system of the country.”
He said the ordinance was in violation of the PMDC Ordinance 1962 and “we were not expecting an undemocratic step by the democratic government.”
The PMDC Ordinance 1962 suggested that the composition of the council would include some nominations and the rest of the members would be elected by doctors so that it could be a representative regulatory body, he said.
Dr Sajjad said the PMA had always supported steps to make the council an independent, democratic, strong and transparent department.
PMA President Dr Ikram Ahmed Tunio was of the view the government should learn a lesson from the past and stop interfering in the affairs of the council.
Dr Ashraf Nizami said civil society and literary figures should also raise voice against the ordinance.
“The PMA wants an election as per the constitution of the PMDC and demands to run the council in a democratic view.”
PMA had earlier written letters to the president and the prime minister requesting them to withdraw the ordinance in the interest of the medical education and the health delivery system of the country.
“We have also written letters to the leadership of political parties having representation in parliament not to pass this unconstitutional ordinance from the parliament,” Dr Nizami said.
Dr Amir Saleem while talking to Pakistan Observer said the PMA was concerned and disappointed to learn about the promulgation of the Presidential Ordinance regarding the PMDC by a person who himself belongs to the medical profession. It is against the spirit of democratic norms and the government should have taken doctors’ feedback before its promulgation.

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