The Pakistan Medical and Dental Council (PMDC) has stopped fresh admissions in Ghulam Muhammad Mahar Medical College, Sukkur, for this year putting the future of the college at stake.
The PMDC took this action due to an acute shortage of teachers in various disciplines and other facilities. In July this year, a PMDC team visited the college in Sukkur and was disappointed to witness the lack of teachers in various departments, said an officer privy to the developments.
The administration was warned to fulfil all the requirements of running a medical college but the warning was not taken seriously. On July 18, PMDC issued a final notice to the college administration and, when it failed to receive any response, it stopped the college from taking new admissions this year, the officer added.
Hoping to resolve the matter soon, the college administration has started offering conditional admissions to aspiring candidates. The admissions will apply once the PMDC gives clearance, said a college official.
Shortage of teachers
There is a severe shortage of teachers in various departments, such as paediatrics, orthopaedics, anatomy, biochemistry, forensic medicines, pharmacology, community medicine and gynaecology, said a professor, who did not wish to reveal his identity.
Since the college is affiliated with Shaheed Benazir Bhutto Medical University (SBBMU) in Larkana, the vice-chancellor of SBBMU, Prof Ghulam Asghar Channa, is responsible for hiring its teachers. Channa admitted that there is a lack of teachers but that he is trying his best. “We have appointed around 40 professors out of which some will be posted to Ghulam Muhammad Mahar Medical College shortly,” he told The Express Tribune.
“Apart from the faculty shortage, we are also facing a shortage of pathology and physiology equipments and we are trying to sort it out,” he said, adding that they also need MRI and CT Scan machines and an intensive-care unit. “It is the duty of the hospital administration to fulfil these requirements,” he said.
Channa said he will be heading to Islamabad to meet the PMDC chairperson. “I am hopeful that we will sort out the matter,” he added.
The teachers that are associated with the medical college have little to show in terms of performance. After a senior professor, Abrar Ahmed Shaikh, was removed from his post, the vice-chancellor posted a pathology professor, Haresh Chand, as the principal. Chand, who resides in Larkana, comes to the college after 10am and then leaves at 2pm, the professor claimed.
The principal also runs his own pathological laboratories in Larkana and has little interest in running the college, he said, adding that Chand is also doing his PhD in pathology from Shah Abdul Latif University, Khairpur. For his part, principal Chand claimed to have suspended his PhD programme to give more time to the medical college. “I am going to retire in three months, after which I will complete my PhD,” he said.
Towards greener pastures
The college professor felt that most of his colleagues get posted to Ghulam Muhammad Mahar Medical College merely for the sake of a promotion. Afterwards, they all go back to Chandka Medical College in Larkana by using their political connections, he said. In this manner, at least 24 professors have been transferred to Larkana and 12 to Khairpur Medical College, which was established in 2012, he added. The professor blamed the elected representatives for failing to take interest in the institution.
Chand admitted that misplaced postings have caused a shortage of faculty. “The civil servants manage to get postings of their own choice and I am helpless in this matter,” he said. “My job is to write letters to the authorities and apprise them about the state of the affairs. In return, the high-ranking officials are supposed to help us out.”
Despite the shortage of faculty, Chand insisted that the college was running properly and was optimistic that the matter of admissions will be resolved amicably.
Published in The Express Tribune, October 16th, 2015.