In its 25th meeting, the Syndicate of Jinnah Sindh Medical University (JSMU) approved several new projects including a boys’ medical college to meet the shortage of male doctors in the province.

The Syndicate considered several matters including the Hajj Scheme for employees, matters of contractual employees, Internship policy, Research Funding policy, and projects in collaboration with Sindh Employees Social Security Institute (SESSI) etc. The Hajj scheme at JSMU which was previously open to only the regular employees, was extended to include the Codal Contractual Employees also. The Syndicate also endorsed the decisions taken in the last two academic council meetings including the approval of a new PhD program in Basic Medical Sciences.

Dr Azam Khan, the Registrar, JSMU who serves as the Secretary of the Syndicate, started the meeting with the unanimous confirmation of the previous Syndicate meeting minutes and the last two meetings of the JSMU Academic Council. Then he presented a long list of agenda items to be discussed in the Syndicate.

The Vice-Chancellor and Chairman Syndicate, JSMU Prof Amjad Siraj Memon, greeted the new members of the Syndicate including renowned philanthropist Haji Hanif Tayyab and Prof Shaista Effendi, as the nominees of Govt of Sindh, and Prof Mir Muhammad Dahri, nominated by the Honorable Chief Minister. Prof Amjad Siraj Memon also expressed gratitude to the outgoing members of the Syndicate.

The meeting paid tribute to the late Prof Ikhlaq un Nabi, former Principal, Sindh Medical College and Professor of Pharmacology, who passed away recently.

Muhammad Mureed Rahimoon, Secretary Universities and Boards, Zulfiqar Ali Shah, Secretary Health, Govt of Sindh, Prof Noshad Shaikh, President, Pakistan Medical Council (PMC), and Prof A Q Mughal, former HEC Executive Director, were present at the meeting. Secretary Universities and Boards and the Secretary Health Department reviewed the JSMU budget in details and provided constructive feedback.

Outlining the need for a boys’ medical college, VC Prof Amjad Siraj Memon explained that girls comprise more than 80 per cent of the current enrollment at JSMU and despite the fact that these girls were bright and hardworking, statistics predict that less than 50 per cent of them will pursue careers after graduating.

This has caused a lacuna in the healthcare sector as majority of the females who do join the profession, refuse to work in remote locations and even late shifts in the cities for various reasons, he stressed. A boys’ medical college will fill the gap and provide opportunities for more males to join the healthcare workforce, he said.

Prof Dr Amjad Siraj Memon extended a vote of thanks to all the distinguished members for sharing their valuable input for the improvement of the Jinnah Sindh Medical University.

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Arshad Yousafzai is a Karachi-based journalist covering Education and Human Rights. He can be reached on Twitter @Arshadyousafzay

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