PM Forms Committee to Address Medical Education Issues
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PM Forms Committee to Address Medical Education Issues

Committee to Address Medical Education Issues

Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif has formed a 25-member committee to address issues in medical education and explore options for integrating students returning from Kyrgyzstan into Pakistani medical colleges.

The committee, led by Foreign Minister Ishaq Dar, will convene its first meeting on Friday at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA), as announced by Dar during a press conference on Wednesday.

The committee’s members include Federal Minister for Economic Affairs Ahad Cheema, Law Minister Azam Nazeer Tarar, PM Coordinator on Health Dr. Mukhtar Ahmed, MNA Dr. Nafisa Shah, retired Maj-Gen Azhar Kayani, secretaries of the ministries of health and foreign affairs, HEC Chairman, PMDC President Dr. Rizwan Taj, Vice Chancellor of Shaheed Zulfikar Ali Bhutto Medical University (SZABMU) Prof. Tariq Iqbal, Dean of Khyber Medical College (KMC) Dr. Mehmood Aurangzeb, provincial secretaries, and others.

A committee member, speaking anonymously, stated that Friday’s meeting will address challenges faced by public and private medical colleges. Discussions will also focus on the quality of education and the shortage of seats in these institutions to balance demand and supply.

The committee will review the registration process for medical colleges and discuss admissions for students in unregistered medical colleges. Additionally, it will develop a policy for admitting students to foreign medical colleges and assess the number of students studying abroad.

Addressing questions, the committee member mentioned that the adjustment of students returning from Kyrgyzstan would be a key topic, noting that many were enrolled in medical colleges there. Following violent clashes in Bishkek, hundreds of Pakistani students have returned.

The committee member recalled a visit to Central Asian states in the early 2000s, where he was surprised to learn that faculty members in medical colleges earned significantly less than peons in Pakistan. These faculty members supplemented their income by preparing exam papers and grading answer sheets. He highlighted that students who barely passed in Pakistan could easily secure admissions in Central Asian medical colleges.

Expressing concern, he noted that efforts are now being made to integrate these students, who might not even qualify for nursing colleges in Pakistan, into Pakistani medical colleges. He concluded that the committee will submit its report within 10 days.

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