MDCAT to be conducted by provinces through public universities

ISLAMABAD: The Senate Standing Committee on National Health Services, Regulations and Coordination (NHS, R&C) Tuesday passed “The Pakistan Medical and Dental Council Amendment Bill, 2022” and “Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences Bill 2022” by majority vote.

The PMDC bill was introduced by Senator Saleem Mandviwalla and Senator Kauda Babar. The bill passed by majority vote, while the committee chairman Senator Dr. Muhammad Humayun Mohmand gave his dissent.

Federal Minister for National Health Services, Regulations and Coordination (NHSRC) Abdul Qadir Patel later told newsmen that under the bill, Medical and Dental Colleges Admission Test (MDCAT) will be conducted by the provinces through the public universities, while the Medical and Dental Council of the Commission will have representation of all provinces, health bodies and universities. He said the bill will also abolish the previous practice in which the members of the PMC Council used to be nominated by the prime minister.

Furthermore, the bill will also repeal the National Licensing Examination (NLE) which was conducted to provide licenses to medical students to practice medicine and surgery. The standing committee also passed by majority vote another bill titled “The Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences (PIMS), 2022” introduced by Senator Saleem Mandviwalla.

Abdul Qadir Patel commented that the bill will repeal the Federal Medical Teaching Institutes Act 2021 and its autonomous position and will come under the direct control of the ministry. He added that the former act was disastrous, as the Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences Islamabad could not even procure one MRI machine in the last one year.

The senate body also discussed the unlawful degree courses of Bachelor in Dermatology offered by various universities and illegal practice by unqualified dermatologists. Rector University of Lahore Dr. Muhammad Ashraf apprised the committee that the nomenclature of degree was Bachelor in Dermatology Technology and its aim was to provide technicians who could assist doctors in their practices.

Senator Dr. Muhammad Humayun maintained that the ambiguity regarding this aforementioned Bachelor Program shall be eliminated and directed the HEC to make efforts for the same.