ISLAMABAD, Oct 19 (APP):Pakistan Medical Commission (PMC) has planned to strengthen its technical relationship with leading international medical regulatory authorities to enhance the standard of Pakistan’s National Licensing Exam (NLE).
According to the PMC spokesperson, the objective behind these efforts was to acquire a transfer of knowledge and technical expertise and international recognition of the NLE to provide further recognize the country’s medical and dental graduates.
He said that the commission has made sincere steps to collaborate with international regulatory authorities and to ensure recognition of its standards in key countries where Pakistani doctors seek to undertake postgraduate training and gain work experience.
He said that the PMC has formally initiated the application process for recognition by World Federation for Medical Education (WFME).
He added the WFME recognition is essential for Pakistan to ensure that doctors from Pakistan are able to go and train and work internationally.
The PMC will be closely liaising with WFME and other international organizations to ensure that all requirements for recognition are fully met prior to the actual assessment and inspection process of WFME, he added.
He said that the entire process of assessment including a physical visit by the WFME and inspection is expected to take 12 to 15 months, which is well within the time frame of 2024 when WFME recognition will be mandatory to enable Pakistani doctors and students to study or work abroad and specifically in compliance to the requirements of the authorities in the United States, he added.
In addition, PMC as part of the process planned for extensive workshops and seminars for all medical colleges in Pakistan over the next four months to assist in capacity building and enable and prepare all medical colleges for the WFME visit and inspections.
The WFME recognition process initiated runs its full course divided over phases with extensive data and information submissions made and evaluated as per the steps of the WFME process culminating in the final physical visit and assessment of the PMC and selected medical colleges. It has taken the commission extensive efforts and continued work for almost 18 months to prepare for the WFME process, which is now complete.
The formal application to WFME to initiate the process required the prior approval of the new 2022 national standards for recognition of medical and dental colleges and teaching hospitals as well as the 2022 national medical and dental curricula. These requirements have recently been approved and notified after the invaluable and immense effort including hundreds of hours of work put in by the National Medical and Dental Academic Board over the last 15 months to formulate and structure these standards and the curriculum.
The standards and curriculum provide the foundation for modern medical and dental education systems and the Board will be continuing their work to consistently improve the standards and curriculum raising the quality bar for both colleges and students.
The commission has worked tirelessly to ensure that all regulatory processes including the recognition and accreditation of teaching hospitals and colleges as well as the admission and examination process and especially the national licensing examination are designed and implemented at the highest international standards including the introduction of digital licensing for practitioners.
These are key aspects required for the WFME recognition process. The commission had unfortunately inherited a system that was based on outdated and manual processes without the proper transparency or objectivity required in a modern regulatory structure, he added.