ISLAMABAD-Hundreds of foreign medical graduates (FMGs) from Central Asian and Chinese medical colleges on Wednesday staged a protest outside Pakistan Medical Commission (PMC) on de-recognising the colleges they graduated from and faced baton charge.
The protest arranged by the FMGs intensified in early hours after the PMC officials didn’t attend the protestors and the medical graduates blocked one of the main arteries of the city – Srinagar Highway.
The no compromising situation from both sides invited the law and enforcement agencies (LEAs) under the district administration to take action against the FMGs to open the Srinagar Highway.
The scuffle between the protestors and LEAs mend ways to arrest the leadership of the FMGs, however, later they were released after talks with the PMC and the district administration.
Chairman FMGs Movement Dr. Zeeshan Noor said that the protest will continue until the PMC accept their demands as its decision of de-recognising the colleges has put the future of thousands of medical students abroad at stake.
He said that blacklisting the medical colleges of Kyrgyzstan and other countries is beyond understanding.
“All universities were recognised by the World Health Organization (WHO) and despite the fact PMC de-recognised the colleges,” he said. He said that the students gathered outside PMC would not return without getting MRPOS from the PMC, while the body is not giving any commitment to the foreign medical graduates.
Dr. Zeeshan Noor said that PMC is not accepting the FMGs as doctors who graduated after September 2020.
“All universities of Kyrgyzstan have been blacklisted,” he said.
Dr. Zeeshan Noor said that when we went abroad to these universities we followed the rules of Pakistan Medical and Dental Council (PMDC). The protestors said that no one from PMC took them seriously and came forward to resolve their matter.
The FMGs who were hundreds in numbers initially cordoned off the PMC office and later went on Srinagar Highway and blocked the road. The district administration took action and called additional contingents and water cannons to disperse the protestors.
Taking action, the protestors scuffled and later faced baton charge. The police arrested the leadership of FMGs and also used water cannons to disperse them.
Later, talks were held and arrested doctors were released from police custody.
The PMC in its statement issued on social media said that the protest of foreign medical graduates on Srinagar Highway is highly condemnable as it was not conducted peacefully.
It said that police have registered FIRs against some doctors who tried to take the law into their hands. “Your questions will be heard but not in this way. We have already made it clear that the universities that have been blacklisted do not meet the PMC criteria. They have one year to meet our demands so we can mark them green.”
The PMC also from its official account said that and addition of 27 Chinese undergraduate medical institutions has been made to the green list, bringing the total number of recognised undergraduate medical institutes in China to 65.
It said that further assessments are continuing, with their outcomes to be announced on the PMC’s website and social media platforms in due time.
The Young Doctors Association (YDA) condemned the use of force by the LEAs upon doctors and taking them into arrest.
The YDA said that doctors have no conflict with the LEAs while use of force on doctors instead of listening to them is condemnable.
It said that it supports the stance of FMGs and demands to resolve their matters instead of wasting their time.