Conditions in teaching hospitals unsatisfactory, says PMDC president

Source: Published in Health on Thursday, February 18, 2016

ISLAMABAD: During surprise visits to medical colleges, the Pakistan Medical and Dental Council (PMDC) found the conditions of their teaching hospitals to be unsatisfactory and that the bed occupancy rates in these hospitals are very low.

The council has said teaching hospitals are only being run to meet a condition of the council that requires medical colleges to have a teaching hospital attached before they can be opened.

If a medical college is allowed to admit 100 students every year, it has to establish a hospital that can accommodate 500 beds and treat patients on 100 of these beds for free.

PMDC president Dr Shabir Lehri told Dawn he has been visiting some medical colleges and their teaching hospitals and has found them to be unsatisfactory.

Surprise inspections find low-bed occupancy rates, missing departments and machinery

“In most of the teaching hospitals, they had installed three times as many beds than should be put in one room to meet the requirement of 500 beds. I have seen 10 beds in a room that should only have three beds. There should be some space between two beds,” he said.

“These hospitals also lack radiology departments and facilities like MRI and CT Scan machine. Patients don’t want to get admitted into these hospitals because of a lack of facilities and their bed occupancy rates remain low,” he added.

Dr Lehri talked of an incident at a hospital on Lehtrar Road.

“When I went into the operation theatre the owner of the medical college came in after me without removing his shoes. I said germs cannot differentiate between common people and the owners of colleges and will come in with your shoes as well,” he said.

The PMDC president said he had been visiting the colleges himself because if an inspection team is sent, the colleges will be closed as per PMDC rules.

“We want for the colleges to improve instead of banning admissions and closing them,” he explained.

Meanwhile, according to a statement issued on Wednesday, the PMDC president and members of the council’s executive committee, Dr Amir Hussein Bandeshah and Farrukh Ijaz, paid a surprise visit to the Rawal Institute of Health Sciences Islamabad to see if it is at par with PMDC standards.

Saying he was displeased with the lack of facilities at the Rawal Institute the PMDC president directed for comprehensive inspections to be carried out. He said it was surprising to see that the college had a 3rd year class and yet the attached hospital only had 375 beds and not the 500 beds required by PMDC rules.

The hospital does not have a cardiology department; neither does it have an MRI or CT Scan machine. Operation theatres and recovery rooms did not have the equipment and did not have monitors, suction machines and other resuscitation equipment that help save patients recovering from surgery, he said

Dr Lehri said the college did not meet the minimum criteria set by the council.

The PMDC president and his team also paid a surprise visit to Al Nafees Medical College. Dr Lehri said this college was better equipped than the Rawal Institute. However, the bed occupancy rate at its teaching hospital was still low with only 96 patients admitted in its hospital.

Dr Lehri said the council will be making similar visits to other colleges that are PMDC recognised and that these measures were being taken to maintain a good standard of medical and dental education in the country.