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Event Title: Senator Mrs. Rubina Khalid, Convener Sub-Committee of The Senate Standing Committee on National Health Services, Regulations and Coordination presiding over a Meeting of The Sub-Committee at Parliament House Islamabad

Event Date: 2023-10-24

The Sub-Committee of the Senate Standing Committee on National Health Services Regulations and Coordination, convened by Senator Rubina Khalid, today at the Parliament House to investigate the matter of fake degrees issued to nurses by institutions affiliated with the Pakistan Nursing Council. Senator Rubina Khalid highlighted the subpar conditions prevailing in these institutes. Senator Jam Mehtab Hussain Dahar expressed dismay over the reports from the Pakistan Nursing and Midwifery Council (PNMC) visiting team. He criticized the inadequate infrastructure, substandard science and computer labs, and discrepancies in marking and reporting, indicating a lack of supervisory competence. He called for reporting institutions engaged in dishonest practices to the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA). The sub-committee collectively voiced their disappointment, stating that despite the passage of years, the conditions of these institutes have not improved. Senator Jam Mehtab Hussain Dahar emphasized that the report highlights individuals running nursing institutions in two-room houses for the past 20 years and the irony is, no action has been taken against these institutions during these years. Senator Rubina Khalid directed the Pakistan Nursing and Midwifery Council to submit details of nursing institutions that do not meet the prescribed Higher Education Commission (HEC) criteria for an institution.

The Sub-Committee has determined that the shortage of clinical hours for nurses is the major reason for inefficiency in Pakistan's nursing system. Senator Rubina emphasized that skill development should be the core of the curriculum to enhance the existing nursing system. HEC (Higher Education Commission) officials stated that they will consult with doctors to appropriately increase the clinical hours for nurses. The Sub-Committee also directed the HEC to implement a uniform policy for nurses in hospitals. Convener Senator Rubina Khalid pointed out the scarcity of nurses in comparison to doctors. She also recommended implementing distinct uniforms for nurses and doctors to differentiate between the two professions.

While scrutinizing institutional performance, Senator Rubina Khalid suggested that institutions should utilize BS Nursing graduates, given the absence of a uniform curriculum for MS Nursing in the country.

Dr. Mirza Ali Mashud, Senior Joint Secretary for the Ministry of National Health Services, Regulations, and Coordination, suggested conducting third-party evaluations to assess the existing conditions of nursing institutions.

In conclusion, Convener Senator Rubina Khalid proposed that a policy be introduced for individuals with a BS Nursing degree to have 10 years of experience for appointment as principals of nursing colleges. She also recommended the development of an app to ensure smooth operations, monitoring, and quality control in nursing institutes.

The sub-committee was attended by Senator Dr. Mehr Taj Roghani, Senator Jam Mehtab Hussain Dahar, Senior Joint Secretary for the Ministry of Health Services Regulations and Coordination Dr. Mirza Ali Mashud, DG HEC Dr. Amjad Hussani, Secretary Pakistan Nursing and Midwifery Council Fouzia Mushtaq, and other senior officers of relevant departments.