Pakistan Islamic Medical Association (Pima) has voiced concerns regarding the lack of facilities provided by the government for postgraduate medical training to the Fellowship of the College of Physicians and Surgeons (FCPS) part-I students.
According to the Pima Punjab President, Dr. Shabbir Ahmed, and General Secretary, Dr. Iftikhar Burney, lack of opportunities for postgraduate medical training has created a state of uncertainty among thousands of doctors for their future after doing FCPS Part-I.
Dr. Ahmed said, “If the government does not timely address their problems, a large number of them may seize opportunities abroad and this can lead to a shortage of skilled and talented doctors”.
He said that it is the government’s responsibility to provide training facilities to FCPS students and urged the authorities to pay immediate attention to resolve the issues of postgraduate medical training.
Dr. Burney informed that FCPS was done in two parts and in part-I, an MBBS degree holder just needs to clear a written exam.
“In part-II, candidates can join in different specialties and it takes four to five years to complete FCPS. In the past, there was no condition for the candidates for joining the part-II but now seats are limited in every specialty due to which over 50% of the candidates fail to get admission in part-II. Moreover, after two years, if they fail to get admission in part-II, they are told to clear part-I again,” he said.
He suggested the government convert district headquarters hospitals into teaching hospitals to ensure that FCPS candidates do not face any issues.
Regarding the financial issues faced by health departments and how they will be able to pay the FCPS candidates, Dr. Burney said, “The government should hold a competition every year for the paid seats and remaining candidates should be suggested to work without honorarium. Patients will also benefit from it”.
“The government should also immediately increase the resources allocated for teaching hospitals and enhance their capacity,” he added.