ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan Medical and Dental Council (Amendment) Bill 2015, which was passed by the National Assembly on March 16, was tabled in the Senate on Thursday.
The house referred the bill to the Standing Committee on National Health Services (NHS) with a suggestion to prepare its report by April 19 as the ordinance would lapse on April 25.
After a two-year tussle between the PMDC and the Ministry of National Health Services, Regulations and Coordination, President Mamnoon Hussain had on Aug 28, 2015, promulgated the Pakistan Medical and Dental Council Amendment Ordinance 2015, by virtue of which the PMDC’s executive council, controlled by Dr Asim Hussain, was dissolved.
Elections were held on Jan 16 and the council was handed over to the new PMDC president, Dr Shabbir Lehri, and other members.
The ordinance was tabled in the Senate by State Minister Jan Kamal on behalf of State Minister for NHS Saira Afzal Tarar.
Minister for Parliamentary Affairs Sheikh Aftab Ahmed said that the committee should be advised to pass the bill within a few days as the ordinance would lapse on April 25.
Senator Mian Attique, who belongs to the MQM, objected and said that it was a very important bill and all stakeholders in the committee would be called to get their feedback.
Acting chairman Abdul Ghafoor Haideri recommended that the committee should give its report by April 19.
It is pertinent to mention that the major amendments made in the National Assembly were regarding conflict of interest.
One of the amendments declares that “the members of the council shall be responsible to disclose any conflict of interest as and when arises and shall also file a declaration for non-conflict of interest annually”.
Moreover, it was also included that “the federal government may cancel the basic membership of any member of the council if he is found on inquiry to have a conflict of interest”.
An official of the Ministry of NHS, requesting anonymity, expressed the hope that the bill would sail through Senate without any problems.