Pakistan’s Clinical Degrees Receive Same Status As FCPS, MCPS
“We were given the guarantee that MS and MDs would receive status on par with FCPS,” Dr. Mirza, said.
Pakistan clinical degrees, Doctor of Surgery (MS), and Doctor of Medicine (MD) degrees have been granted a status equivalent to Fellow of the College of Physicians and Surgeons (FCPS) and Membership of the College of Physicians and Surgeons Pakistan (MCPS) in Gulf states.
The MS and MD degrees are recognized as clinical degrees in Pakistan, but Saudi Arabia declared them research degrees in 2017, prohibiting holders of those degrees from practicing. Despite the fact that both MS and MD holders are employed by hospitals in order to gain clinical experience, this was the case.
The Higher Education Commission (HEC) and the Pakistani embassy in Saudi Arabia have received praise from the Association of University Physicians and Surgeons of Pakistan (AUPSP) for addressing the matter.
According to Dr. Asad Noor Mirza, the general secretary of the AUPSP, Saudi Arabia banned MS and MDs from practicing in 2017, which had a negative impact on 4,500 doctors there. Doctors in other Gulf states also faced a similar problem.
Despite the fact that MS and MD are four-year programs, Saudi Arabia allowed MS and MDs to practise in 2019 but at a lower level equivalent to two years MCPS, he continued. According to Mr. Mirza, Dr. Shaista Sohail, the executive director of the HEC, wrote a letter to the secretary general of the Saudi Commission for Health Specialties on January 23 stating that in Pakistan, the degrees of MD, MDS, MS, and MPhil are equivalent to FCPS.
According to the letter “The Pakistan Medical and Dental Council monitors and regulates policy for medical practice and ethics and licenses and classifies both of these clinical streams under Level-3 qualifications permitted to practice as specialists and consultants in their respective fields of medicine and surgery.”
According to the HEC Faculty Appointment Criteria, “Both these streams of qualifications, i.e., MS/MD/MDS and FCPS, MCPS, etc., are on par with one another.” They asked to add these clinical degrees in the same tiers as for FCPS to Saudi Arabia’s professional qualification requirements.
A delegation travelled to Riyadh according to Dr. Mirza, on February 6 and met with the secretary general of the Saudi Commission for Health Specialties. “We were given the guarantee that MS and MDs would receive status on par with FCPS,” he said.