The Karachi University (KU) syndicate on Friday set up a six-member committee to review and examine proposals received by the varsity administration regarding establishment of a medical college and teaching hospital.
So far, the KU has received four proposals from the Panjwani family, a local NGO Sindh Health Trust and Karachi Medical and Dental College while a proposal has also been received from the United States via faculty member.
Principal secretary to the Sindh governor, Syed Muhammad Hussain, was selected as the convenor of the newly-formed committee. Its other members are Sardar Yaseen Malik, one of the major private donors of the university, Prof Dr Jamil Kazmi, chairman of the political science department, Dr M Ahmed Qadri, the dean of pharmacy faculty, Prof Dr Ghazla H Rizwani and Prof Dr Haris Shoaib.
In a meeting to be convened within the next 10 days, the committee will scrutinise the proposals one of which has already been rejected by the syndicate members on Friday.
The syndicate raised objections over the credibility and experience of Lincoln Medical Foundation, USA, even though the former Lt Governor of Illinois, Sheila Simon, who had completed her term on January 12, wrote letters to ensure the support of US government for the project.
However, the syndicate without proper homework or talking to the party concerned rejected the proposal because they believed that the “vision of the foundation” was not clear and they had been unable to muster enough information regarding its background.
The members then decided to ask the Panjwani family to review its proposal so it met the criteria of the Pakistan Medical and Dental Council (PMDC).
According to the PMDC regulations, a hospital should have at least 250 beds to obtain a licence while the facility proposed by the Panjwani family was to comprise only 150 beds.
The family has been behind the establishment of several state-of-the-art medical complexes and advanced research laboratories.
Another interested party, the Sindh Health Trust was told that it should resend all its documents since the present ones were not clear.
The Karachi Medical and Dental College (KMDC) seems to be strongest contender because it has the advantage of an already-existing infrastructure and a functioning medical college.
A few syndicate members while talking to The News expressed the partiality of the syndicate towards the KMDC.
During the meeting, one of the members asked why was KU not building the medical college and hospital itself and inviting others to help, vice chancellor Prof Dr Mohammad Qaiser, who was presiding over the session, said the prevailing financial crunch did now allow the university to undertake the venture. He said the Higher Education Commission too had washed its hands off the project.
The six-member committee has been tasked with making sure the proposal meet the legal standards and regulations of KU.
Last year in October, the PMDC denotified KU, along with Punjab University, Quaid-e-Azam University Islamabad, Hazara University Mansehra, Sarhad University Peshawar, Sindh University on grounds that these varsities did not have their own medical colleges yet they issued affiliations to other institutions.
All private medical and dental colleges were directed to approach Dow University of Health Sciences or the Jinnah Sindh Medical University for their affiliation.
The universities had objected to the cancelling of their registration without being served warning notices, and several challenged the decision of PMDC in court.
The KU, on the other hand, decided to work on setting up its own medical college and hospital. It had received a proposal back in 2013 from Farasat Ghori, of the Food and Drug Administration Agency of the USA in this regard but had not taken the matter seriously until now.
However, after last year’s events of being disallowed to register medical colleges for not having its own, the KU administration has taken up the matter and is now seriously considering proposals from interested parties.