KARACHI General Secretary Pakistan Medical Association (PMA), Dr Mirza Ali Azhar, has expressed his serious concerns over the idea of evening medical colleges. He said that it was very disturbing to know that idea of evening medical colleges conceived by some influential office-bearers of Pakistan Medical and Dental Council (PMDC) was put forward to the President of Pakistan for his approval. PMA and medical educationists are in a state of shock how come a person no less than the President of the country can give the instruction to follow this idea which has never been implemented in any part of world before, he said in a statement. He said, According to a news item the federal government asked the provinces to make arrangements for evening classes in public and private medical & dental colleges and institutes and it is also revealed that the President wanted immediate introduction of evening shifts in all public and private dental colleges. The situation reveals that the President has been misguided by the lobby having vested interests. The fact of the matter is that at the moment there are 108 public and private medical colleges in the country and at least more than a dozen in the pipeline. Every medical colleges is producing more than 100 doctors a year that means 15,000 doctors are being produced in the country every year, he added. So it is not the matter of shortage of doctors which is compelling our policymakers to adopt a strategy which will destroy the already substandard medical education in the country. It is not the matter of quantity of the doctors but it is the quality which is being produced. As far as the medical education in existing medical colleges is concerned, it is far behind the rules and regulations set by PMDC. Not even a single medical college in the country fulfils the criteria of a complete medical faculty, he maintained. Most importantly teachers of basic medical sciences are not available to teach. Regarding the clinical training of the doctors, according to PMDC regulations a 500 bedded hospital is required to be attached with the college as its teaching facility, which unfortunately not the case with most of the medical colleges, he said and added that PMA has raised its voice against the establishment of evening medical colleges and reiterates that this is totally unworkable idea. If this is allowed to happen, it will destroy medical education in the country, it will open the doors of corruption, it will produce ill-trained medical graduates or glorified quacks and the amount money in this racket is involved is beyond imagination. A full time medical college starts functioning at 08:00 a.m. and finishes at 04:00 p.m. This involves teaching, practical training, clinical training, wards, OPDs and other small departments. All these places work in the morning and the teachers (part time) are available in the morning hours also. Once you start evening classes than these classes will commence from 05:00 p.m. onwards to 01:00 a.m. next morning. Who will teach these students in these odd hours, what about OPD, ward and other clinical trainings? It all looks very awkward, he said.