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Doctors in Dilemma: Leaving the Country for Greener Pastures

Submitted by on December 1, 2014 – 8:17 PM

grassI was thinking of writing a blog on any disorder or medicine related topic, but recently one of our senior well known educationalist left the country and so I decided to write on current medical affairs. We have heard many a times that the cream of the nation leaves the country for better quality of life and standards. It seems to be good but in the true manner, it is having a knocking down effect on Pakistan.


First of all, the question that arises in our mind is ; why do the talented students want to leave Pakistan?Is our country the type of nation which is totally uncivilized and underdeveloped? Are we short of all the required life saving basic necessities? Sounds ridiculous!In my opinion, all the above questions have the same answer “NO”. We have been struggling hard since many decades to build our state dynamically, where all the basic life requirements are present.


I am a final year student and was born in a society where the field of medicine is considered as a venerated and revered profession. My uncle is a doctor and I got my inspiration from him. Although the medical profession is considered to be the most respectful and sacred, because all the doctors save lives, but these life savers no longer gain the same respect in Pakistan now. All the doctors and paramedic staff are given so much respect all around the world for the same reason.


Upon entering medical profession, I realized that my senior doctors weren’t getting enough reward for the services they performed.. An average doctor has 36 hours shifts three times in a week and there is no word such as a holiday in the dictionary of a doctor who is on call. Just think about it,a 36 hours call without any rest and that too 3 times in a week without any pay or reward ,then how do you expect someone to ruin his life for the sake of a country and in my point of view all the doctors would rather give their time saving lives in a foreign country than in Pakistan, in which doctors have to work for 12 hours a day and a maximum 50 hours a week with a reasonable return in terms of salary or reward.


Let us look on a different side of the picture. As we already know the law and order situation of our country as well as the literacy rate. Majority of the doctors love their homeland but face problems on several fronts, including practicing their religion freely, and getting kidnapping for ransom, forced marriages outside their faith, targeted killings, and religious discrimination in society. Many renowned educationalists were killed by target killers in target killing incidents including doctors.


Many doctors have to pay extortion money every month to many influential big wigs to ensure the safety of their beloved lives. If they don’t pay, they place their loved ones at risk because the fear of kidnapping is always on their mind. They have to pay whatever they demand from their handsome portion of income. The monitor report states that these are only the law and order cases which had been filed and reported otherwise actual cases would be much higher.


In a nutshell, I strongly appeal to all governing bodies that we have to care about medical profession, because if they will leave the country, no one will be able to serve the country with heart and soul. All the doctors can’t be blamed solely for leaving their country. It’s a combined responsibility of all the stakeholders of the society. We should take steps in order to encourage doctors to stay home and serve the local people. If the same situation continues, Pakistan might face extreme shortage of doctors as seen in third world countries.


About the Author: Hafiz Wase is a final year medical student at Karachi Medical and Dental College. He can be reached at [email protected].

About this article: This article is competing for the JPMS International Medical Writing Contest 2014.

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