At a time when the Islamabad High Court (IHC) is all set to start hearing on a petition challenging dissolution of the Pakistan Medical & Dental Council (PMDC) by the federal government last month, the new Medical & Dental Council established under the commission has taken three members from earlier councils that were criticized by Senate and media for dubious inspections of medical and dental colleges.
Muhammad Ali Raza, Dr Zafarullah Chaudhry (President CPSP) and Dr Aneesur Rehman (member of the interim council) are among the nine who met on Oct 28 in the first meeting of the new council.
The rest of the members are: Ms Roshaneh Zafar, Tariq Ahmad Khan, Dr Rumina Hasan, Dr Asif Loya, Dr Arshad Taqi and Lt Gen Dr Khawar Rehman (Surgeon General of Pakistan).
Not only members, the employees with tainted career are being re-hired by the new council, it is further learnt.
According to details, the new council has hired services of some directors, assistant registrars, LDC and other staff on new terms and conditions but only those persons are being re-hired who were earlier given warnings, letters of displeasure even suspension on charges of corruption and misconduct.
While going through these warning and suspension letters, it comes as a surprise what has made the council to re-hire only those who were facing inquiries of misconduct and disciplinary action on one count or the other.
It is pertinent to mention here that NAB has also initiated an inquiry into the hastily done inspections of 167 medical and dental colleges (public sector: 63 and private 104) in August this year and according to sources some members of the previous council in order to give these colleges a free hand used their influence in dissolving the council and establishing a commission.
Last month on October 21, President Dr Arif Alvi with a stroke of pen had rendered over 250 employees of the PMDC jobless promulgating an ordinance that was later hastily passed by the National Assembly on Thursday.
Since its dissolution, employees of the PMDC, some of them with over 15-20 years of service are on roads staging protest and wondering from where they will get next bread for their kids at this mature age.
While talking to Pakistan Observer, one of the former employees who is also part of the PM&DC protest camp since the day one, said she served the council for 15 years and her status changed from employee to ‘ex-employee’ with a single stroke of pen by Hon’ble President of Pakistan.
According to the new Ordinance, we can be hired only according to new terms and conditions that means we shall be on contractual basis without any job security, said she. The new commission offers all these ex-employees six-month basic salary without any further benefits.
Article 49 (3) of the PMC Ordinance says “Provided that all employees and officers of the dissolved PM&DC serving in special pay scale 1 to 4 shall be offered an available position in the Commission on priority subject to fulfillment of minimum criteria for such position and their acceptance of the terms and conditions of employment approved by the Council for employees of the Commission.”