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Govt sends doctors to military and private hospitals for training

By Ashfaq Yusufzai 2016-08-08
PESHAWAR: The Khyber Palchtunkhwa government has sent doctors for postgraduate training to Combined Military Hospitals and private health facilities to accommodate all candidates and develop medical specialties.

A `memorandum of understanding` was signed by health secretary with officials of the hospitals recently to send trainee medical officers (TMOs) to CMHs for postgraduate training and prepare them to appear in FCPS examination, conducted by College of Physicians and Surgeons Pakistan.

`We have a total of 609 seats of TMOs in six medical teaching institutions in the province while 984 are needed, including 900 in medicines and 84 in dental sur-gery.The province has totalof 358 qualified consultants in public sector, each of whom is authorised to supervise eight to 10 doctors during the training,` Prof Riaz Anwar Khan, the dean of Postgraduate Medical Institute (PGMI), told Dawn.

He said that the TMOs would get training in neuro-surgery, orthopaedics, cardiology, etc. Initially, they would be deployed at general surgery wards and they would decide about their choice of specialty after two years.

The CPSP awards FCPS degrees in medicines, general surgery, super specialties, dentistry etc, for which the candidates undergo fouryeartrainingingeneralspecialties and hve years training in super specialties.

The province faced acute shortage of slots but the problem was resolved as they started sending doctors for training to CMHs for first time in the country, Prof Riaz Anwar said.

He said that the TMOs would be paid by the provincial government during their courses at those facilities. He said that manpower wasdesperately needed to scale up postgraduate facilities.

`The new TMOs apply for the slots through online system. They were given two-week time after their selection in interviews to decide about the area of specialty, said Prof Riaz Anwar.

He said that other provinces, especially Punjab, wanted to replicate their decade-old central induction system for selection of TMOs. `We select TMOs on demand of medical teaching institutions every year. We need more slots,` he added.

Prof Riaz Anwar said that it was the first agreement of its kind by any province under which it placed TMOs in Combined Military Hospitals in Peshawar, Kohat and Nowshera and Mercy Teaching Hospital, Kuwait Teaching Hospital, Rehman Medical Institute and North West General Hospital and Research Centre, Peshawar.

Officials said that few meetings were held after the issue was raised by TMOs, who wanted to become specialists but could not do so owing to non-availability ofseats.

They said that the province wanted to get more specialists in cardiovascular surgery, hematology and cardiothoracic surgery and other scarce specialties.

`Army`s help has been sought to overcome shortage of human resources for postgraduate studles,` said officials. They added that before drafting the agreement, the officials of health department visited CMHs. The province depends on medical teaching institutions for producing specialist doctors that hadn`t opened new wards to accommodate TMOs.

They said that the agreement would also provide human resources to the army and other hospitals for work and the doctors would get opportunities to work underhighly trained teachers.

`The health department has also asked CPSP to accredit six more medical teaching institutions for FCPS training and wants to enhance coordination with army to create worl