Senate body annoyed over MDCAT test conducted by TEPS

Summons PMC president, TEPS officials for briefing within a week

ISLAMABAD - Senate Standing Committee on National Health Services (NHS) on Wednesday expressed resentment over the MDCAT test conducted by TEPS and summoned the president of Pakistan Medical Commission (PMC) and officials of the TEPS Company to brief the committee within a week.

The Senate body which met under the chairmanship of Senator Dr Muhammad Humayun Mohmand at the Parliament House, took up the matter pertaining to PMC on the recent MDCAT test conducted by TEPS and provision of the experience, technical qualification of all other testing agencies that participated in the bids. 

While discussing the issue the chairman committee, being the member of the American Examination Board, negated the process of the MDCAT test and said that according to his experience and understanding the system of 32 days examination for 1 single test was baseless and a clear injustice with the test-takers.

The committee showed resentment at the absence of the president of PMC and unanimously decided that the agenda point must only be taken in the presence of the PMC president and the employees of TEPS.

The chairman committee directed PMC to ensure presence of the president of PMC and TEPS employees and also sought a report on the stepwise process of the exam conducted, within a week. 

The chairman directed that a one-point agenda will be taken up in the next meeting on the briefing by the PMC on the MDCAT test conducted by TEPS.

The Population Council, Pakistan office also informed the committee that according to the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics, Population and Housing Census 2017, the population of the country has increased by 6pc since its independence making Pakistan the fifth most populous country in the world with a total population of 208 million with Islamabad 2 million (1pc), KP 31 million (15 pc), Punjab 110 million (53 pc), Balochistan 12 million, (6pc) and Sindh 48 million (23pc).

Dr Zeba A Sathar (TI) while briefing on the alarming rate of population growth and its consequences said that more than 11,000 women die annually due to pregnancy-related causes and 4 out of 10 children under five years of age are stunted. 

The population council noted that lack of political will and financial restraints are the reasons that population cannot be controlled. Millions of Pakistani couples cope with unwanted birth every year, the council further added.

The committee was also informed that the public sector does not allow abortions. “Birth control is a bigger problem of men than that of women,” said the Chairman committee. The committee observed that there is a great religious barrier in terms of awareness in birth control and abortions which needs to be filled with the help of the ulema. 

The Chairman committee recommended a legal framework for the same and an effective plan to devise its implementation. He underlined that he will raise the issue in the House.

Private Member’s Bill (The Transplantation of Human Organs and Tissues (Amendment) Bill, 2021, introduced by Senator Seemee Ezdi and Sana Jamali was also taken up for detailed deliberation.

The bill was passed unanimously in principle however, the committee decided that due deliberation to frame proper wording for the amendment of the bill is required for bringing more clarity.

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