Government to establish first-ever medical college in Parachinar
The government is working on establishing a medical college which will be the first-ever medical college in Parachinar, Kurram tribal district. The project is a part of the package, which is worth Rs 14 billion, announced by the center for the expansion of healthcare organizations in the districts that have been merged newly.
In the 2019-20 budget, Rs 15 million has been set aside for this project and the construction of the ‘Parachinar Medical College’ has been made a part of the Annual Development Programme, as per doctors. The medical college will cost a total of Rs 600 million and its manufacturing will be completed in three years.
Due to its geographical location and the fact that it is the most easily accessible tribal district out of the total seven agencies or FATA, Parachinar, which is the headquarters of Kurram, has been chosen for this project. People belonging to North Waziristan, Hangu, Orakzai or other parts of Khyber can reach Kurram without many problems.
Although the establishment of the medical college was announced back in the 70s by Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto, the funds allocated were used for a medical college in Abbottabad at the time. Then, a plan of setting up the college was again put forth in 2004 and again in 2013 but it wasn’t acted upon due to political deliberations.
Government plans to build a college for tribal students:
The government plans on building a college for tribal students that have presently enrolled in KP (Khyber Pakhtunkhwa) based medical colleges on the quota that is reserved for backward areas. The preceding plans also included the eradication of tribal seats in KP after a college started for students in tribal areas. 160 tribal students get admissions in about 10 public sector colleges of KP annually.
The college also offers seats to students belonging from Afghanistan on scholarships provided by the Pakistani government. Every year, 12 students from Afghanistan are admitted to the province’s medical college.
The tribal people had a demand to get medical college in their own areas for a long time now. As announced by Chief Minister Mahmood Khan a few months back, paperwork for the project will begin soon after getting details from the government to start the search for land and designing, etc. These are the basic steps.
In the mean-time, the district headquarters hospital Parachinar will face an upgrade, as the beds will be increased to a number of 500 from the current 16. In addition to that, they will be acquiring the services of faculty for basic medical sciences, a requirement by Pakistan Medical and Dental Council, which is the official of the medical education, for acknowledgment of the medical college.
PM Imran Khan had announced the building of medical colleges in the North and South Waziristan in his public meetings in November as a part of the government’s program to develop medical and health services in militancy-stricken tribal areas.
After the approval of the program by the cabinet, a PC-1 for the college will be prepared to pave the way for the work on the college in which about 100 students from the tribal district will be enrolled.
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