ISLAMABAD - The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) has initiated a probe against the registration of 20 medical colleges done in one day by the Pakistan Medical and Dental Council (PM&DC), the documents of probe available to TheNation revealed on Thursday. The accountability body is also probing the registration of 200 doctors by the PM&DC without test.

According to the documents, more then 20 medical colleges were given the No Objection Certificate (NOC) in December 2012 by the PM&DC on same day against the law.

The medical colleges, which were registered by the PM&DC were from Punjab, Balochistan, Azad Jammu Kashmir (AJK), Sindh and Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (KPK).

A source close to the developments insisted that the shady registration process had created a lot of concern amongst legislators who had even raised the issue with the office of the Prime Minister, including the Ministry of Regulations and Services, which has administrative control over PM&DC.

According to the minutes of the meeting, details of NAB officials under the mandate of 33C of NAO1999, which was held at the NAB headquarters in the first week of this month was chaired by the chairman NAB Admiral R Fasih Bukhari. Other seniors officer of NAB including Brig R Muhammad Musadiq Abbasi, Dr Zafar Altaf, Brig (r) Sardar Javed Ashraf Khan. Haroon Qazi, Aditional Director Muhammad Tahir,Deputy Director Ali Taimoor also attended the initial inquiry.

PMDC senior official Dr Raja Amjad Mehmood, Lt Gen R Rehan Burney, Dr Shaista Faisal explained the financial administrative and operational matters before the NAB inquiry teams.

According to the minutes, the inquiry committee observed that the PMDC as a regulator is at the verge of collapse, and failed to exercise its role in all the areas of its jurisdiction. There is a dire need to revamp and restructure the whole organizational structure of PMDC.

A comprehensive list of the registered doctors be maintained as a central data bank by the PMDC having NTN number of the each doctor. PMDC also asked regarding the declaration of the income tax by the doctors and dentists on the yearly basis.

NAB also directed the administrative posts in PMDC may be given to non-doctors having expertise in the field of administration.

NAB also directed mechanism of issuing licence to work as doctor be reviewed and must be strengthen to plug the loopholes in the system.

Fake registration of the doctors be scrutinized and cancelled the detected cases should be referred to the concerned police stations for lodging FIRs and legal team of PMDC advised to pursue the cases vigorously.

NAB also directed the quantum jump in the number of the medical colleges from 36 to 78 in private sectors with last few years need to scrutinized through site surprise inspection which may comprised of the NAB and PMDC officials.

It is also directed by the NAB detail report be submitted for perusal of chairman NAB with in two months.

The outstanding recovery in the plea bargain case against the former secretary PMDC Ihtram also came under discussion and the FIA inquiry report against DR Ahmed Nadeem other corrupt officials of PMDC also discussed during the inquiry.

“It was quite a concern for us that such a large number of medical colleges were given an NOC by the PM&DC on a single day. We want to probe the matter as per available laws,” said the NAB official. 

It is pertinent to mention here that PM&DC has laid down a complete process for registration of medical and dental colleges.

According to a prerequisite, a medical or dental college cannot be registered unless it is separated from the main hospital building. Also an application form provided by the PM&DC needs to be filled.

NAB officials said, “We have learnt that few of the medical colleges were given registration without following the standard guidelines, since some of these medical colleges comprised of only two rooms and the federal government finds this fact alarming.”

While talking to this scribe, senior officials of PMDC explained that PM&DC Ordinance 1962 had given powers to the federal government to initiate a probe under a High Court Judge, against any matter relating to PM&DC.

The rule 35 of PM&DC ordinance states: “Whenever it is made to appear to [federal government] that the Council is not complying with any of the provisions of the ordinance, the [federal government] may refer the particulars of the complaint to a Commission of Inquiry consisting of three persons, two of whom shall be appointed by the [federal government], one being a Judge of High Court and one by the Council; and such Commission shall proceed to inquire in a summary manner and to report to [federal government] as to the truth of the matters charged in the complaint, and in case of any charge of default of improper action being found by the Commission to have established, the Commission shall recommend the remedy.”

The official said that his ministry is waiting for a final nod from Law and Justice Division and then the commission would be established to probe the registration process of these medical colleges.

He added that his ministry doesn’t want to put the stake of hundreds of students in jeopardy by cancelling the registration of these medical colleges without conducting a proper probe into the registration of medical colleges.