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ISLAMABAD: A parliamentary panel on Thursday recommended summoning of an emergent meeting of the Pakistan Medical Council (PMC) to take up the extension in date of MDCAT examination and preparation of similar paper for Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Punjab and Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT) candidates.

The National Assembly Standing Committee on National Health Services, Regulations and Coordination which met here with Dr Afzal Dhandla in the chair, also recommended establishing more examination centres for overseas students seeking examinations to medical and dental undergraduate programmes at other stations.

It was briefed that the PMC had arranged MDCAT 2022 through public sector universities in the all provinces and in ICT on a single day and time. The Member PMC apprised that MDCAT exam will be paper based and will be held on 13th November 2022.

He informed that two centres had been established at Saudi Arabia and UAE for overseas students. He informed that students residing in other countries had either opted for taking exams in UAE, Saudi Arabia or in Pakistan.

The committee members apprehended that due to short time given by the PMC for change of examination centres to local as well overseas students a large number of students will not be able to get their centres changed thus would not be able to take the exams. They suggested for giving them an opportunity to get their centres changed.

The secretary of the ministry said that he would discuss the recommendation of the committee with the management of PMC and would apprise the committee accordingly.

The committee while taking up another matter raised by Rana Shamim MNA regarding discrimination by Pharmacy Council of Pakistan (PCP) against a private pharmacy college, directed PCP to give level playing field to all institutions imparting pharmacy education in Pakistan.

The committee directed the ministry to examine the issue and submit its findings before the Committee within 15 days. The mover of the matter informed that PCP unilaterally reduced the numbers of seats in Imran Idress College of Pharmacy.

It allowed the ministry to withdraw Pakistan Nursing Council (Emergency Management) Bill, 2021 on its request.

The panel was apprised that a comprehensive bill was being prepared to strengthen the management and role of Pakistan Nursing Council.

It also pended ICT Tuberculosis Bill moved by Dr Nisar Cheema MNA for its next meeting. It also directed the ministry to take all the stakeholders onboard and present its recommendations on Unani, Ayurvedic and Homeopathic Practitioners (Amendment) Bill moved by Sajid Mehdi MNA within one month.

The committee was of the view that the Unani, Ayurvedic and homeopathic education should be brought at par with the international standards.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

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