These days, doctors, especially young doctors, are in everyone’s bad books. Some of the complaints are valid. Of course, a patient should have access to a doctor when that is required. However, expecting someone to work in conditions existing in government hospitals is asking too much of the doctors. Ironically we Pakistanis want the other person to give 100 percent to his/her jobs, but do not hold ourselves to the same standard. Why would anyone study like crazy for five to six years, and then get peanuts in return. There are drivers that get better paid than most young doctors. However, having said that, young doctors should remember that those of them who studied in government-run medical colleges at subsidised cost borne by taxpayers have an obligation to pay back the public. I feel that anyone who has studied at a government-run medical college, should serve in a hospital for at least three years. If they do not want to serve they should be asked to refund the amount spent on them.
Another thing requires review. It is the smart girls and boys with high marks who get accepted in to top government-run medical colleges. They get their MBBS degrees and most carry on in the medical field. But some opt for the civil service, becoming police officers, assistant commissioners or third secretaries in Pakistani missions abroad. Some female doctors get married and never practice medicine. This, in my opinion, is total waste of scarce resources for a country like Pakistan. It does two things. One, people lose someone who would have been available to serve them as a doctor. Second, they are not getting a return on their investment. I would propose that admissions in government-run medical colleges be based wholly on merit. No special seats for sons and daughters of VVIPs. I would rather be treated by a doctor who studied hard to become a doctor than one whose daddy used his influence to make his offspring a doctor undeservedly.
Syed Hussein El-Edroos