Islamabad, July 31
The future of Pakistani medical graduates who are working in the US seems bleak and they may not be able to continue with their practice as Islamabad has failed to get accreditation from the global body, media reports said.
Though Pakistan has time till January 2024 to complete the accreditation process to get recognition for its medical programs, however, Pakistan Medical Association (PMA) officials express fear that Pakistan may jump the deadline.
Pakistan has failed to meet the criteria of the World Federation for Medical Education (WFME) and the deadline is approaching fast.
Notably, PMDC did apply for the WFME accreditation. The council also invited WFMC delegation to visit Pakistan however, in 2019, the PMDC was dissolved and Pakistan Medical Commission (PMC) was established.
Subsequently, the WFME visit was postponed.
The problem is that this new Pakistan Medical Commission as it stands currently does not meet the criteria to get recognition from the world body.
The PMC, on the other hand, claimed that it had “formally initiated the application process for the recognition” and the entire process, including on-site visit by the WFME, is expected to take 12 to 15 months, which is well within the time frame of Jan 2024.
In stark contrast, PMC says that there is nothing to worry about, as per the media portal.
According to a senior official of the Ministry of National Health Services (NHS), around 25pc of the doctors working in the US has foreign qualifications.
“US’ Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates (ECFMG), after realising that the quality of foreign graduates was deteriorating due to mushroom growth of private-for-profit colleges, on September 21, 2011, announced that after January 2023 graduates of only those countries having recognition from WFME will be allowed to appear in United States Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE),” the official said, adding that the deadline was later extended to January 2024 due to Covid-19.
Pakistan might miss the deadline in case of failure to take timely measures which will have severe repercussions as graduates of Pakistani medical colleges will not be able to practice medicine in the US.
“It is not going to be easy to get accreditation by 2024 as there is a long list of conditions which include quality of education, criteria for inspections of colleges, rules, faculty and many other things,” the Pakistan Medical Association (PMA) Secretary General Dr Qaiser Sajjad said.