The doctor cannot see you today – he’s tired

Published: July 4, 2012

If nobody else will come out on the streets to fight for a doctor's' rights, then regrettably, the doctor would have to do it himself. PHOTO: MUHAMMAD JAVED/FILE

Ever wondered if your doctor had a birthday party to attend? A valeema to go to? A bunch of kids at home wailing out in indignation because daddy hadn’t come home in time to take them to their favourite park? He would have, had he not received a call about a patient with a ruptured aneurysm.

As a doctor, I have never met a surgeon who, at some point during the surgical procedure, did not envy the person sleeping soundly on the operating table in front of him. Barely more awake than the patient he operates upon, his tired mind races through the personal troubles in his life.

Both my parents are doctors, which has made for an interesting childhood. If I had a penny for every school event my father missed, and every plan my mother had to cancel because of a patient going into labour, I’d have far more money than what the doctors are making today.

As a frustrated 9-year-old, I would sometimes stand at the door of my parents’ private nursing home in the evening, yelling at incoming patients that the hospital is closed. I knew mum and dad wouldn’t leave for that rare evening plan we had made weeks ago, until all the patients had been dealt with. Mom would call an off-duty nurse to watch over me and keep me entertained, while she continued to treat the sick way beyond her working hours.

And for what, I wonder? Irrespective of the freedoms we forfeit in honour of the oath we have taken, we’re still viewed as uncaring, avaricious vultures. We’ve been called murderers because of our inability to reverse death, or prevent it from happening entirely. Indeed, every patient who ever expired in the arms of a doctor, did so because of the doctor’s incompetence and never because of a natural process that was beyond his capacity to remediate.

In the hospital where I’ve been trained as a medical student, a doctor often calls security before informing a person about the death of his friend or relative. The second stage of grief, right after denial, is anger. That is never good for the doctor.

As the truth is never sensational enough, the media would have you believe that there are corpses piling up outside the hospitals as the doctors are refusing to treat any of the patients. That is not how it is. The emergency departments are still active, ready to handle all life-threatening cases with the same diligence as they always do. It is the outpatient departments that are being affected, if at all, by the protests.

When you perform a service, you expect to get paid for it; not doctors though. The idea is that the moment I raised my right hand to take the Hippocratic Oath, I simultaneously dumped my civil rights into a trash can. While lawyers, engineers, factory workers and all others are allowed to fight for higher salaries to compensate for inflation, and often succeed in their goals, doctors simply do not have this right. We’re expected to work silently and ungrudgingly regardless of how little we are paid.

Doctors are demanding nothing that they have not already earned by running frantically from one ward to another, watching over your loved ones; spending Eid holidays standing by in the Emergency Rooms (ER); examining endless streams of patients through drooping eyelids.

It is neither our professionalism nor our patriotism that is waning; it is our energies that have been snuffed out. As dedicated as we are to helping our patients, we are simply too exhausted to do that as efficiently as we would like to.

If nobody else is willing to come out on the streets to fight for a doctor’s rights, then regrettably, the doctor would have to leave the hospital and do it himself.

Read more by Faraz here or follow him on Twitter @FarazTalat

Faraz Talat

Faraz Talat

A medical doctor and bubble-wrap enthusiast from Rawalpindi, who writes mostly about science and social politics (and bubble-wrap). He tweets @FarazTalat (twitter.com/FarazTalat)

The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.

  • Troll-face

    Everytime you are tired – Someone dies.Recommend

  • Huma

    well said!Recommend

  • noman

    doctors are highly educated ,sensible and hardworking people of this society who spend their whole life to relieve pain and mysery of suffering people .but society is so blind they cant see wht they r going through in their life.they r humans and have needs and family .we wnt let u alone in this moment of despair .no one forgets the truth ,they just get better at lying .Recommend

  • On Time Doc !

    The idea is that the moment I raised my right hand to take the Hippocratic Oath, I simultaneously dumped my civil rights into a trash can <— THIS sums it up nicelyRecommend

  • ABC

    I am surprised at how the doctors of this country still keep going after all this ridiculous non-sense intimidation by the bureaucracy and politicians.
    This nation deserves Zaalim e Aala.Recommend

  • ZooZoo

    YDA doctors are no more working in emergencies. There can be many ways to protest other than killing the people. Recommend

  • ZooZoo

    YDA doctors are no more working in emergencies. Doctors have a right to protest not to kill the people. Recommend

  • Hindu Indian

    Nice Article, Recommend

  • abc

    Thank you for sharing this. I hope some more of YDA doctors come forward (in case they have not been thrown in jail by the Mob Boss) and present their side of the story. What are their demands? What salary are they getting? How many working hours? Eid and Sunday duties? How do the salaries of doctors compare with those of policemen or Army doctors?

    Doctors do get almost-free education at the expense of taxpayers but they also need to be paid decently if not well.

    In the present scenario, following steps are required:

    (1) Increase medical college fee by 500 percent (five hundred).

    (2) Govt of Punjab should provide low markup loans to students who cannot afford to pay fees. In USA, by the time medical students graduate, they are a million dollars in debt and they spend 20 years paying off their college loans.

    (3) Higher fee revenue should be used to upgrade educational facilities.

    (4) Compulsory three year residency requirement, as in American style, for all medical graduates with placement through random balloting.

    (5) Degree should be awarded AFTER completing residency.

    (6) Many people who study SHAUQIYAA including female students constituting more than 50 percent of student body be told they must serve or be thrown out. A poor country like Pakistan cannot afford to train people who do not want or plan to work after graduating.Recommend

  • http://islamabad abc

    the doctor cannot see me today because he just blindly took admission in the med school not knowing what he was getting into
    he cannot see me today because he cares less for human lives
    he cannot see me today because he has forgotten the oath he took
    he cannot see me today because he graduated from a med school which had no fee and ofcourse since he did not pay a single penny how would he realize the responsibility
    he cannot see me today because he never knew medicine is about earning but giving back to the society
    he cannot see me today because he wants to join the protests n rasie slogans
    he cannot see me today beacuse he thinks the CM of Punjab is Zaalim but not the Young doctors (read :butchers)

    dear Mr. Faraz,
    if you already knew seeing your mom n dad that this is a very demanding profession why did you joined the same field.
    STOP this non sense, STOP playing with the lives of innocent, STOP being stubborn, STOP running after money,
    Please for God;s sake respect the profession, respect life

    and FYI you n our friends are not working in emergencies….STOP this madness and remember as you sow so shall u reap, God forbid this can happen to our family aswell….Recommend

  • NO nonsense please

    Ever wondered if your doctor had a birthday party to attend? A valeema to go to? A bunch of kids at home wailing out in indignation because daddy hadn’t come home in time to take them to their favourite park? He would have, had he not received a call about a patient with a ruptured aneurysm.
    So, you are trying to say that all the hardworking engineers, lawyers and businessmen etc are always busy in partying and attending birthdays, waleemas, spending quality time with their families etc and only the doctors are made to sacrifice their personal life? If yes, then please get a life!! I am a prospective engineer myself and since I have started studying engineering, I have experienced my personal life going down the drain. God knows what will happen when I get a job.

    When you perform a service, you expect to get paid for it; not doctors though.”
    WTF??
    On another post, an ET reader commented that his cousin got a job of 45000 after graduating from a public medical college and he, on the other hand was jobless for 3 years after graduating. We engineers are constantly been told that the future of engineers is not bright and that we should not be surprised if we do not get a job. We do not come to the streets and protest. We accept the fact and try to create opportunities for ourselves. Again, mr author, open your eyes and get a life please!!

    Before entering into this profession, you should have realized that this field demands sacrificing your wishes and the lust of money over the well-being of the people. You have so far failed to realize it. So, again, please broaden your mind and get a life!! Recommend

  • Doctor

    Just for the sake of being equal to other professions, why dont all the doctors take a day off together????.or rather everyone i.e; engineers, IT professional , mba’ s take a day off………..lets see ,what effects the public the most .ofcourse doctors!!!!!we are there for u, day and.night, public holiday, strike, Saturday and sunday, eid, PLZ GIVE SOME RESPECT TO DOCTORS.A meager pay dosent allow us to pay the bills, pay our childrens school fees and till how long can we delay getting married and having a family just because we are paid
    so little, only enough to take transport to work and eat.thats all we can afford in our pay at the age of 32-33.is that our worth ?????Recommend

  • http://blogs.tribune.com.pk/author/430/faraz-talat/ Faraz Talat

    No nonsense please,

    “So, you are trying to say that all the hardworking engineers, lawyers and businessmen etc are always busy in partying..”

    Compared to doctors, yes. There are all hard, noble professions, but unless engineers, lawyers and business too have to work for 30-hour non-stop shifts, taking 10-15 minute power-naps to keep themselves from collapsing, it’s perhaps not the same thing.

    On another post, an ET reader commented that his cousin got a job of 45000 after graduating from a public medical college and he, on the other hand was jobless for 3 years after graduating

    It could be a private job, certainly not a government one. It’s frustrating when people attempt to explain to ME what MY own salary is. You know I can read the numbers on our paychecks, right? It’s Rs.24000. We’re not hallucinating, because that’s the same number on every other house officer’s paycheck too.

    Before entering into this profession, you should have realized that this field demands sacrificing your wishes and lust of money

    “Lust” is not the reason why we’re demanding fair pay. It’s desperation. I’m blessed to have parents who are already earning enough to support me and my family, even if I earn nothing significant. But I have friends and collegues who spent five years in med college only to earn a salary of about Rs58 per hour (the same that a person selling rags on the street earns at Rs.20 a piece) and are the sole earners in their families. It is for them that I stand my ground.Recommend

  • Hammad Khan

    Have you EVER seen any lawyer or engineers strike or riot for raise in their salaries? Let me assist you with the answer …. NEVER! Recommend

  • obscurantist

    if you are not willing to change something that hostile it does not mean at all that everyone else should do the same.we are doing for a cause.if you cant support us better dont look down upon us.and since you are too lazy to take a stance and speak for something i sincerely hope that out of your own frustration since you compromised under corrupt system, dont expect that from us@NO nonsense please: Recommend

  • Ayaz

    Yda zindabad for fighting for the rights of the dr communityRecommend

  • Realist

    @abc: Will that ensure quacks are not produced? It will at least do one thing. Make rich now doctors and they wont need jobs too. You can then open Wagah border and import from India.Recommend

  • usman

    Can any doctor tell me that who is now treating Dr. Naeem (Doctor’s Strike Hero)? Y all the docs r so much worried about his health? They says OPD ka patient hai “no problem” I will see k jab in main say he kisi doc ka bacha, biwi, behen, bhai, ma ya baap OPD ka patient ho to ye kya karain gay… MONAFIQ, LALACHI….!!!
    I also wud like to include that these docs (freshers) are getting very well (50K) as compared to fresh engineers, MBAs etc. and getting very very well as compared to MSc Phy, Che, Maths and etc. and dun forget that these MSc were your teachers when u were studying in colleges, they made you what you r now…what are they supposed to do???? SHAME ON YOU DOCTORS!!!!!Recommend

  • Sultan

    Whatever the doctors are doing isn’t justified because they opted a wrong way out there. I can hardly forget the moments of the last YDA strike when the patients died waiting for the doctors outside the hospitals. The impacts of the last YDA strike were not wiped out of my brain as I can’t forget the violent face of the saviors of humanity that brutally let their patients die infront of their very eyes. And recently then this new recent drama started and is still going on. What are the impacts of this YDA strike? the impacts are particularly much more devastating to the poor patients than any so called opressed “Maseeha Doctor”.

    We all know that the service structure is absent, we all know that their pay was less quite a few years back. But here the question arises that what compelled the people here in Pakistan to be a doctor? Is it for the service of humanity or for the secure future, is it for the intention of being a “maseeha” or for the purpose of handsome incomes from the private practise? the whatever service structure was there by the times these doctors adopted this profession. They were invested upon by the government almost 12-15 lacs each. so they owe a lot to our government that grant them the freedom of joining job or not unlike the army doctors that are bound to practise in thier army hospitals for teh first ten years of their service without any kind of private practise.

    as they say if there isnt respect for the doctors in this country than why do they prefer to be a doctor in first place. Itz all about “paisa”.

    I acknowledge the flaws in our health sector and in our hospitals. Doctors work for more than even 16 hours in our messy hospitals but thats not becuase of the government policies but because of the monoply of the senior doctors. I wonder why the YDA doesnt call strike against the senior doctors who hardly met any time for their official governmetn jobs or to show up in public sector hospitals. their absence put the burden on the junior doctors and thats why they have to work like animals in our hospitals.

    the doctors deserve a well reputed place in our society and handsome packages for their services but the way for their demands should be calm and peaceful not of agression and medical negligence (as they are letting their patients die). Recommend

  • http://blogs.tribune.com.pk/author/430/faraz-talat/ Faraz Talat

    Doctors all over the world protest in the same way when their rights are endangered. Just a couple of weeks ago, doctors in UK shut down the OPD’s over problems concerning their pensions.

    And no, The police in Northern Ireland did not raid these doctors’ homes, harass their families, and beat these protesting medical officers half to death. Such phenomenon is indigenous to Pakistan, and the public’s apathy in this regard is appalling.Recommend

  • http://lonepkliberal.wordpress.com Loneliberal PK

    Usman,

    Nobody is ignoring patients with life-threatening conditions, whether it’s Dr.Naeem or any other random street person. You’re awfully misinformed.

    The deaths that are occurring are mostly of those patients with conditions beyond our medical capabilities to treat, and the government is portraying them as if they’re the direct result of the strikes.

    The ER’s are open. If you have a life-threatening condition, you WILL be looked after. If you have a funny-looking mole on the back of your elbow, come back later. We’re busy fighting for our own rights, because you obviously have no interest in fighting for them on our behalf.Recommend

  • http://blogs.tribune.com.pk/author/430/faraz-talat/ Faraz Talat

    If you can come out on the street and carry my protest sign on my behalf, I’d gladly go back to the hospital knowing that my rights are being fought for. That is not how it is though.

    So pardon me if the entirety of being does not revolve around your dry mouth and backache. I have my own needs to look after from time to time.Recommend

  • Dr Ilmana Fasih

    Bravo, keep up the fight, despite being beaten by politicians, maligned by media or called names by every Tom Dick and Harry on the streets. Fight your own battle. N o one will give you ur rights on a platter. India did it 26 yrs ago, and see the difference there. Keep going. You will win in the end. Recommend

  • http://blogs.tribune.com.pk/author/242/nicholas-sharaf/ Nicholas Sharaf

    Please learn to differentiate between a profession and a calling from God. Doctors are ‘working’ in hospitals. They aren’t on a divine mission from God to save everyone who comes their way. They provide a service to the country and in return expect to get paid for it. Just like any other profession in the world.

    There seems to be an outright belief that doctors all need to be philanthropists who always put others before themselves and not ask for a compensation package in return for the time they have invested. While that indeed sounds like a brilliant plan by the people of this country, we must understand that these doctors also need to provide for themselves and their families.

    A lot has been said that these strikes main goal is money. I’d like to know why that is unreasonable. In a country with a crippled economy which sees monthly hikes in petrol prices while the prices of basic commodities are shooting beyond measure, how does anyone here expect a doctor to survive with the absurd service packages they currently have. Do Doctors provide less of a public service than lawyers, police, government workers and the armed forces?

    The problem of this country is that people can’t differentiate between rationale and emotions. They take up sensationalist banters just because of prior experiences of their life where a doctor might’ve refused to give them a painkiller when they wanted to. It stems out from the illiterate literate class of this society who spent millions on education but are still as dimwitted as they come and the sheer stupidity that they possess.

    To think that people here are believing the words of the Punjab Government (with an extremely notorious reputation and hundreds of existing corruption scandals) over Doctors working in the public sector who often work overtime as a daily routine as per providing service to the people.

    And by the way, the emergency section of the hospital only closed when the Punjab Government decided to raid hospitals and try to oppress doctors by using physical violence. Recommend

  • http://blogs.tribune.com.pk/author/242/nicholas-sharaf/ Nicholas Sharaf

    People here who think that it is part of a Doctor’s profession to not care for their service packages but rather shut their mouth and treat patients need to ‘get a life’ and see how the progressive/developed countries of the world treat their doctors.

    It is your own illiteracy and comprehensive daftness that makes you believe doctors are your servants and should work at minimal salaries.Recommend

  • alicia

    We’ve been called murderers because
    of our inability to reverse death, or
    prevent it from happening entirely.
    Indeed, every patient who ever expired
    in the arms of a doctor, did so
    because of the doctor’s incompetence
    and never because of a natural process
    that was beyond his capacity to
    remediate.

    That is so true. Doctors are not Allah Mian they are human beings and most often try their hardest to save the patient. Yes sometimes people can die from their negligence but not every single time. In Pakistan there is lack of technology, the medicines are fake and nurses and technicians have no proper training. It is not always the doctors fault.

    Only the top 15% or so become doctors. But Pakistanis are known for not respecting intelligent and talented people. They deserve Khadim-e-Ala and Raja Rental. Recommend

  • young kemkolian

    What a pleasant surprise,really!!! med students studyng without payng any fee!!! i think my dad has been throwing his 60000/- in a trash bin every year for the last4years….and that still doesnt include exam fee.. PLEASE get out of your utopian world!!! your KHADIM-E-ALA will rather have a heart attack than giving anyone free education!!!Recommend

  • http://pakistani-edu.blogspot.com Usman Shahid

    @Nicholas Sharaf: @Faraz Talat @YDA doctors

    I lost my child last year and i know how hard it hit when the doctor say it is normal and for him patient is not the sole purpose of his life”.

    If patients are not the sole purpose of your life than kindly please please leave the job for those doctors who love to treat the patients and patients are the sole purpose of their life.

    You can earn via private practice, but most of the patients might not have the money to go to private clinic.

    You are getting 60 thousand rupees per month and the people coming in govt hospitals mostly earn 7 thousand a month. Can you campare 60 thousand vs 7 thousand.

    Please let them live. For you patients are routine, but every patient is very very very important to their family members. When you will respect them, nation will respect you otherwise don’t expect from us that we will fight for your right.Recommend

  • Yes, but

    According to a report in an another paper, the YDA’s demands include residences, cars, petrol allowances, pick-drop services, mobile phones and many more. The total cost of this would be around Rs. 400 billion.

    They are reportedly ready to negotiate and drop some of these demands; but I think bringing this to the table in the first place was a mis-step. The YDA has botched this protest in many ways.Recommend

  • young kemkolian

    what a pleasant surprise really!!! med students studyng without paying any fee! i think my dad has been throwing his 60000/- every year in a trashbin every year for the past 4years…and that still doesnt include exam fee..PLEASE get out of your utopian world!!! your KHADIM-E-ALA will rather have a heart attack than giving anyone free education!!!Recommend

  • http://pakistani-edu.blogspot.com Usman Shahid

    @Young kemkolian:

    you spend 60 K per year, an engineer fee in NUST, COMSATS etc per semester is 90 K, that is around 180 K per year, three times more than yours.

    You take 4 exam in 5 years, and engineer have to take one exam per month. one exam means 6 papers. I am not including quizes and assignment which are also part of exams. Just go and check any student from NUST, COMSATS etcRecommend

  • http://pakistani-edu.blogspot.com Usman Shahid

    @alicia: What do you say about engineers, if top 15% become doctors, what about computer scientist etc. What about those who personally chose to become computer scientist and lawyers despite having positions in boards.

    This is the totally wrong illusion that you people are elite. You are the only educated person on earth. If everyone would have become doctors, you wouldn’t have found any x-ray machine, ECG machines.
    Can you make that on your own. Do you know how internally they work. How CT-Scan machine is build. If top 15% would have come only to medical science, medical science wouldn’t have these machines at all.

    There is a life beyond medical profession as wellRecommend

  • HASEEB NIAZI

    nice readRecommend

  • Citizen

    i am a chartered accountant . i studied and worked my a** off to get this degree . i have spent years of hardwork before i can get a handsome salary . i spent countless nights awake, travel , hectic exausting audit scehdules, stress, studies . what i used to get ? mere 4000 stipend at audit firm ? I was still happy and so rest of collegues . For God sake learn some ethics . You are better off then many professions. Everyone studies as hard as you do . No one gave you the right to play with people lives . If you knew hardships of Medical , you shouldnt have entered in this profession.Recommend

  • Pakistani

    It’s time for non-doctors to step up and join the protest, because both doctors and non-doctors are suffering here. Recommend

  • Sultan

    But in UK the doctors dont repeat this dramma thrice in a year or two. the problem with YDA is that now they are habitual of strikes. Why didnt they just remained stuck to strike by the first tiem until all their demands were met?

    cars, houses, bps 18, increase after increase in sallary the demands are ruthlessly increasing.Recommend

  • young kemkolian

    One more correction…no girl in her right mind would SHOQIA sacrifice her 5 golden years of life in the name of the toughest study syllabus and endless working hours in hospital wards…they enter this profession because its their passion,their dream!!! ITS the treatment offered to them by our illiterate society which compels them to give up their dreams..and mind you,giving up your dream-your life is a very very painful thing! She has to give up her family life,her social life,her personal comforts for her profession and what does she get at the end of the day??? no social respect-no financial security!!!
    I remember we used to have these DC SAHIBS in small cities when i was young; whenever the BEGUM SAHIB of DC HOUSE had a slight toothache or upset stomach,my mother,a CONSULTANT gynaecologist at DHQ hosp, had to leave all of her critically ill patients in ward unattended and got summoned to DC house on a single phone call!! WHY?? bcze the matric pass BEGUM SAHIBA considered it below her dignity to come to opd and stand in a queue like a filthy commoner!!! Countless times she has been threatened and blackmailed by these inter-fail locol politicians to criminally alter the reports of medical boards of which she is a member..can anyone imagine it happening in a civilized country?
    This is what you people do to docs,teachers,engineers -the educated sector of this society…talent never stays in a place where its humiliated; our people are just spellbound by the aura of feudal lords,corrupt beaurocrates,characterless politicians..to hell with the nation builders,to hell with the honest educated working class..no wonder this place is going to dogs!!!Recommend

  • http://blogs.tribune.com.pk/author/430/faraz-talat/ Faraz Talat

    Sultan:

    “But in UK the doctors don’t repeat this dramma thrice in a year or two”

    In the UK, the government also doesn’t turn back on its promise of providing better service structure. The government promised us that last year, but then failed to fulfill it.

    In the UK, the government also doesn’t spread lies about the salaries it’s paying to doctors. Their ads claim that we’re being paid Rs.42,000 while every house officer in the province will tell you he or she is being paid Rs. 24,000. Why would they need to lie about it if they know that Rs. 24,000 is a fair salary?

    In the UK, the government doesn’t send police to raid doctors’ homes and beat them up into a coma.

    In the UK, the government pays doctors a starting salary of 22,410 pounds. Why do you think they’d need to protest thrice in a year anyway?Recommend

  • young kemkolian

    Well, thats the point,isnt it? we all work sooo hard and what do we get in return?? Its not a doc vs nondoc issue.. none of us studies for free;our parents work like machines to get us good education and then we have to work like machines too..dont you think its high time to speak out for our rights? do we work like mules and pay our taxes to get Zaalim-e-alaa another fleet of mercedez? his fithy rich corrupt coworkers more plots and apartments? ever bothered to compare hostels of any goverment college with the parliament lodges and punjab house?? teachers, docs,engineers,IT workers ,bankers- ACTUALLY run this country and what do they get? treated like house servants!!
    PLEASE get out of this doc-non doc absurdity and stand up for the rights of the honest working class of this country…or else get yourslf soldout to a bunch of corrupt hypocrites!!!Recommend

  • http://blogs.tribune.com.pk/author/242/nicholas-sharaf/ Nicholas Sharaf

    I’d reiterate that a doctor’s indifference to the death of a patient is not tolerable. I’d support anyone who makes this claim. But does their indifference mean that the doctors were negligent? Emergency wings of hospitals in Pakistan are often crowded with overworked doctors running from here to there. It is only natural for them to get used to death. Don’t soldiers also not suffer from the same problem?

    Major problems lie with the curriculum of doctors and how they are not properly taught PR practice and exchange. This however does not mean that medically they do their jobs wrong.Recommend

  • http://blogs.tribune.com.pk/author/242/nicholas-sharaf/ Nicholas Sharaf

    As a Master’s Student of Engineering, I’d walk into a job with at least a 70k+ service package which would include mortgage and other allowances. That’s the least that can be said about Doctors. More so the fees being quoted here about Engineering Schools are from the Private Sector and the exams being cited are Semester Exams. Please learn the relevance of your posts before coming here and arguing.

    Comparing a chimpanzee with a mercedez car isn’t going to win you an argument.Recommend

  • paki boy

    Engineers and Chartered accountant have much tougher lives here. They only get a pkr 4000 stipend. I know several people associated with international business dealings they work day and night without HOLIDAYS , yes even without EID HOLIDAYS ! So does our police, rangers and Army works.

    If Pakistani Doctors want to compare their earnings with western doctors then government in Pakistan should take away all subsidy from medical education and whoever studies in Pakistani Med Schools should pay in USD DOLLARS and FEES should be inline with International Med Schools.

    Secondly there should be stringent law against medical negligence / malpractice by these doctors and they should be personally liable for any loss as currently they easily get away with negligence.

    And even if they do a 24 hours house job so whats the big deal they are all working towards one goal that is to somehow reach USA / UK after getting experience in Pakistan. Recommend

  • paki boy

    @Faraz Talat: “In the UK, the government pays doctors a starting salary of 22,410 pounds. Why do you think they’d need to protest thrice in a year anyway?”

    And how much do they pay to Med schools for their education?

    Salaries should be compared locally. Otherwise even municipal road sweepers in UK earns around 17000 pounds so does that mean sweepers here should also be given similar salaries?Recommend

  • http://blogs.tribune.com.pk/author/242/nicholas-sharaf/ Nicholas Sharaf

    @Paki Boy

    I hope you’re aware that our FCPS etc aren’t really valued abroad so the argument of them working here so that later they can run abroad is wrong. However that does hold true for my field i.e. Engineering.Recommend

  • http://pakistani-edu.blogspot.com Usman Shahid

    @Nicoloas Sharaf: Where do you live man? I am MS from NUST , 5 years of experience but still earn much less than 70K, bahi,

    Kindly let me know where a company give 70+K to fresh ms graduate. I would like to go there. honestly.

    Second every exam is counted in our mark sheets, so you cannot leave them.

    Allah-0-Akbar, you are declaring engineering as champanziee and medical studies as mercedez. I can only salute to your thinking. You know nothing in the world, obvious from this.Recommend

  • http://blogs.tribune.com.pk/author/242/nicholas-sharaf/ Nicholas Sharaf

    @Usman Shahid please learn what analogies mean and how they are used. Secondly comparing medical curriculum with engineering is absurd. I don’t see why you’re even bringing it up. Do you want people to think it’s a bigger achievement becoming an engineer rather than a doctor? It is not.

    More importantly, I am not aware of your employees nor of the field you specialize in. Also I don’t think you understood what ‘include’ meant. Recommend

  • Hakeem

    The surgeon is not envying the sleeping patient, he is minting money from that patient. Your mom and dad were not available in the evenings on their own choice; they were running their private practice and minting money, literary note chaap rahay thay. First you guys made millions over millions and now you want to portray yourself as mazlooms as well. kamal hai!!!!!!!Recommend

  • paki boy

    @Nicholas Sharaf:
    they slip after mbbs and completion of house job and do frcps while working abroad which is just a fellowship. what i’m highlighting is they are doing a subsidized mbbs (basic medical education) here and they owe back to this country. Also you don’t seem to be aware of how much they concentrate on preparation of USMLE – thats in their mind the very first day they step in a pakistani med school.

    Secondly your statistics seem to be wrong, if i’m not mistaken there are more doctors of Pakistani origin abroad (with pakistani mbbs) then Engineers (who mostly have foreign engineering degrees).

    Secondly engineers are not chimpanzees, they are the ones who develop equipments which enables scientists to carry out medical research and develop medicines. MRI and XRAY machines were not developed by doctors , they were developed by engineers. Basics of all medical research / medicine / bionics are developed by scientist and engineers not by doctors. Recommend

  • PakTiger

    there r no OPD’s in UK. 2. UK economic conditions are different. 3. Patients are being refered to different departments like cardio diseases etc through OPD so ultimately when u shut OPD down that means the other department wont have patients. 4. dont use the poor as a proxy for ur demands. 5. high court has called YDA strike as illegal. 6 dont compare other protests because two wrongs doesn’t make one right! and those protests were much better…atleast they were taking care of their patients!
    Recommend

  • http://lonepkliberal.wordpress.com Loneliberal PK

    Paki boy,

    Fine. Why don’t you go become a doctor if you think it’s such a blast? If it’s such an easy task with luxurious pay, come on in…the water’s fine!Recommend

  • Hakeem

    In my view, Hakeems are better. Doctors are uneducated (How come). Education is supposed to broaden the outlook and horizon. It needs to give a sense of purpose and deeper understanding of life. A doc is merely trained to do the job (like a monkey is trained by the master to perform some acts). Training does not mean education. My theory completely explains the bizzare behaviour being exhibited and strange logic being purported by these young docs. So, educate them to inculcate some civic sense in themRecommend

  • Twister

    Quit whining already.

    You get paid PKR 24,000/month during your housejob, which is essentially an internship. And you know what we get paid as interns in other professions? Zilch is the norm. Thank the heavens you get paid at all during what is actually an internship.

    We, the common people pay for your education. If you’re oh-so-precious that you don’t realise that you owe a duty of care to those who paid for your education, next time spare us the nonsense and get educated on a self-finance seat for the very economical sum of couple of million rupees.

    Selective comprehension does seem to be the norm among the protesting whiners…no wonder the common public is not having any of their crap. The YDA have themselves admitted on-the-record that a BPS-1 gets PKR 42,000/month.Recommend

  • sars

    As a doctor who spent the last decade training and then practicing a subspeciality i think i can easily argue from both sides of this position.
    The doctors are not wrong in that they are over worked , underpaid and have little security (physical and monetary). It is true that to be even a mediocre doctor , you have to sacrifice and slog and give up on sleep, food , rest time and almost everything else vital to your wellbeing.
    The majority of doctors i know (and its probably a huge number by now) have the patient as a abolute priority and strive to find ways to solve their problems and at a low cost on a daily basis. (If you hate people and dont care what happens to them you cannot do this as a job beyond a couple of years)

    Having said all that its important to understand our problems are NOT BECAUSE OF THE PATIENTS so lets not have them pay the price.
    Even those unwilling to understand, obstructive and difficult ones (heart sink patients or attendants) are only a reflection of the lack of education, family values and innate dishonesty in society.
    The correct way to appeal is not by striking, but to build up a strong lobby of proffesionals that can influence public policy and give you your due rights.

    I know you are not killing people by not going to OPDS , but you cannot explain that to a distraught father who believes his son died due to a lack of a doctor rather than presence of a fatal condition.Recommend

  • i m a doc n i m nt a terrorist

    @paki boy:
    its not a competition of what engineers do n what doctors do…engineers do their job n docs do theirs…neither can replace other…..so plz stop comparing n wasting tym…what r u gona prove??the thing is docs r defintly not paid what they desrve,,,despyt their long duty hrs they r nt being given their rights…n no1 likes 2 leave 1z country n b a 3rd class citizen abroad….bt doctrs r nt left wd any choice…they hv families 2 run…children 2 luk after…..n the treatmnt they r being gvn these days quite clearly xplains y ths nation is not progressing….a nation who dznt know how 2 respect knowledge n intellignce; cant progress….Recommend

  • paki boy

    @Loneliberal PK:
    i could have easily but i did not because:

    1) money was priority to me and my consciousness did not approve that i will be earning money out of situation where its a matter of life and death.

    2) i left that med school Seat for someone who was more deserving and dedicated than me but unfortunately may be now some gold digger must have taken it.

    3) i opted to be a businessman so that i could pay 200,000 tax annually (as of now) and more in near future Inshallah , so that poverty and misery can be eradicated and government can fund more med schools and we have more doctors per person.

    what disappoints me most is that they are trying to make money out of people’s misery.Recommend

  • dr.atifali

    This statement always Brings a SMILE on my face ” YDA if u r so greedy for money and u didnt know the harships of this profession , let others pop up those who are willing” n in that moment i look around , among ma friends !! N no one seems interested to Work 150 hrs a week n still remains hand to mouth :-)

    Sorry sir !! if u think YDA is name of a bunch of docs dats ur misperception … !! the replacement of YDA by current students will be more rebellion as this lot has been dragged, stormed in by police , breaking there doors and have seen the hatred of public , which the current YDA might not have experienced in their student life !!

    If this Society remains numb and in state of denial under the trans of paid media , then trust me , closing ER wont be the Last desperate Step for us ,, it will be the First !

    Daro us wakt se , jab anay walay doctors wakiye woh ban jayein jo abhi tum log munh phar kar un per ilzaam laga rahay ho !!! cuz ” when all say that u r an ass u have to bray “Recommend

  • young kemkolian

    lets dont be frustated by the foolishly stubborn attitude of every non-doctor in this country.they will realize we were right some day…hope its not too late .they will all repent their bias inshaALLAH.Recommend

  • young kemkolian

    the YDA is demanding to increase the NON PRACTICE ALLOWANCE to discourage private practice in first place.most of u people dont even know what their demands are..just blindly falling in line with media and govt.Recommend

  • Hakeem

    you take non practice allowance and than practice as well. you get salaries in BHU but never turn up on job and use the same time in some private hospital to get extra money. (govt ki naukree to sirf wazeefa hai). Why the society is reacting against docs because they know the corruption in ranks of doctors for quite some time but were shocked that you at the same time want to be treated as mazloom. Wahi zibah bhi karay, wahi lay sawab ulta (you slaughter as well and get good deeds as well). Recommend

  • Sane

    Anyone, if a doctor is by choice not out of compulsion. Because this is lucrative profession. Why YDA protest for increased salary and ‘service structure’. What is service structure; they want promotion from grade 17 to 18. Amazing?!!! Why it is always doctors protest for increase in salary. Does not this create avenue to anarchy as all professions shall start protesting increase in salary. Have these doctors increase perks of their chowkidars, servants, mali, ayah etc. Soon we will see postmen, seamen, gardeners, teachers, labor, masons, cobblers …… protesting for increase in salary.Recommend

  • Eeman

    Doctors are only highly paid in UK and U.S and that’s what they’re dreaming about to reach here in Pakistan.

    http://economix.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/07/15/how-much-do-doctors-in-other-countries-make/

    According to this model, the 2007 report says, “The U.S. position above the trendline indicates that specialists are paid approximately $50,000 more than would be predicted by the high U.S. GDP. General practitioners are paid roughly $30,000 more than the U.S. GDP would predict, and nurses are paid $8,000 more.”

    What’s ironic is to see doctors crying about working 30-hours a shift but protesting over low-wages. When actually they’ve to protest over longer-hours!!! How can a fatigued doctor examine his patient perfectly? Or are they seriously looking for some magic-pill in more money to make them fresh?Recommend

  • mm

    i agree that doctors dont have a personal life.they are bound to miss sundays , eids, strikes, pakistan vs india matches which engineers , accountants etc can enjoy peacefully with their families .specially the PGs they are really working like donkeys ( excuse me for using this word) in the govt setup. BUT if you people are going to let the patients die so that you can fight for your rights, then dont ask for any respect. sorry you are providing your services on your own terms and conditions , not some Holy act of serving humanity. you people are just as ‘professional’ as any other person could be.
    its like “i serve people for money, if you want free services for suffering people, hire angels”Recommend

  • Uzair

    @NO nonsense please:
    Hello mr. no nonsense. You just read that one doctor got a job of 45000. Starting salary. May i tell you more than one of my classfellows (engineers) got 100,000+ starting salary? Makes you happy? You should take a course in statistics my friend your engineering sense is clearly missing for data analysis.Recommend

  • No nonsense please

    @ Uzair
    hello mr uzair. can you please tell me the whereabouts of the company which gave your class fellows 100000+ starting pay right after completing their undergraduation(provided the company is in Pakistan), so that I can also apply after I complete my bachelors.
    And as far as statistics is concerned, I have been studying statistics for more than nine years and i know very well how to apply statistics, so you need not tell me what I need to study and what not to study. That makes you happy? Recommend

  • http://pakistani-edu.blogspot.com Usman Shahid

    @Paki boy

    leave Nicholas Sharaf: people like him are unable to see and think. They only want money at any cost. They think all the medical equipments are developed by MBBS doctors during their world hardest education. MBBS is a bachelor degree, people also do MS in PhD in medical science even in Pakistan as well but they might be not aware of it. Even those doctors do not build these equipments. Recommend

  • http://pakistani-edu.blogspot.com Usman Shahid

    @Uzair: Please let me know as well about that company. :) Recommend

  • https://twitter.com/pugnate Noman Ansari

    I am not a doctor, but from my experience with doctors, I have to agree with what Faraz writes here. I come from a family of doctors, and they are really worked to the bone in Pakistan. Recommend

  • NO nonsense please

    @ Faraz Talat:
    Compared to doctors, yes. There are all hard, noble professions, but unless engineers, lawyers and business too have to work for 30-hour non-stop shifts, taking 10-15 minute power-naps to keep themselves from collapsing, it’s perhaps not the same thing

    What makes you say that engineers, businessmen, lawyers, bankers etc have not worked 30+ hour shifts? 5 years ago, I happened to intern in a bank. One day, I left at 5 in the evening. My co-workers were still there. When I came back at 9 in the morning the very next day, they were still there, exhausted. They told me that they had not gone home since they had encountered a problem. They were able to go to their homes at 9pm that day after making sure the problem was solved.
    In software houses, the software engineers have to work for 30+ hours if they encounter a serious bug and they are not allowed to go home unless that bug is removed.
    I have friends whose fathers are businessmen and do not get to see each other for days. So, it is not only doctors that have to work hard. Everybody does. Doctors are not extra special and we cannot make idols of you and start worshiping you just because you have started a house job.

    It could be a private job, certainly not a government one. It’s frustrating when people attempt to explain to ME what MY own salary is. You know I can read the numbers on our paychecks, right? It’s Rs.24000. We’re not hallucinating, because that’s the same number on every other house officer’s paycheck too.

    Yes, you can certainly read numbers on your paycheck but what you do not know that no intern gets Rs24000. I have two internships so far and am currently in the process of third and I have not received a single penny and nor will as long as I am an intern. Many people do not get 24000 as starting salary for full-time jobs and you are crying, instead of being thankful, for getting paid as an intern. Please, learn some gratitude.

    “Lust” is not the reason why we’re demanding fair pay. It’s desperation. I’m blessed to have parents who are already earning enough to support me and my family, even if I earn nothing significant. But I have friends and collegues who spent five years in med college only to earn a salary of about Rs58 per hour (the same that a person selling rags on the street earns at Rs.20 a piece) and are the sole earners in their families. It is for them that I stand my ground.

    If you feel so much for your friends and colleagues, then also feel something for those poor people who are suffering because of your childish demands. Why are you using the poor? Will you have the guts to refuse treatment to someone who is a minister or something like that. Certainly not. You can only oppress the already downtrodden segment of the society. Please stop being cruel.Recommend

  • abdul

    the demands of the yda are valid and the arguments given by the punjab govt also make sense to some extent but one should not forget the fact that out of all professions, only the doctors belong to a profession in which these doctors CANNOT afford to go on strike…it is as simple as it gets….and by the way the mullas in the govt mosques work harder than these docs. they spent 4 to 5 years in learning the quran by heart and then they spend almost 8 years in madrassas studying tough books and when they get a job of imam in a mosque, what do they get…from 1500 to 10000 maximum. what if on day they go on strike and say that we won’t perform any prayer and any janaza unless our valid demands are fulfilled. but they don’t do it. because they know that their job is more important. and as for as the hard duty is concerned, what about these bus conductors..they work harder and longer than any doctors on the average.what do they get….so know your responsibility and end the strike and come to the table to settle all the matters.Recommend

  • http://lonepkliberal.wordpress.com Loneliberal PK

    A doctor is more important than an imam. Comparing them is folly.

    I don’t even have to argue my cases, as the fact stands for itself.Recommend

  • Mohammad Ali Gaad

    these peoples are certainly cruel only for sake of some more money they are doing so. i listened from someone that three or four littles innocent lives have been wasted. Are we really Muslims ? are we really Followers of Islam ?Recommend

  • Farhan

    Faraz Talat! If doctor is tired of seeing patients, he should be tired of drawing the day’s pay as well. Simple as thatRecommend

  • Baba Ji

    no pun intended but unfortunately only 1% of this group can be called doctors … by any international standards these graduates from Pakistani medical schools are just plain simple “compounders” !!!!Recommend

  • Eeman Saleem
  • Hakeem

    Bravo Eman. Loved your video comment. And Baba Ji, spot on. That is why our nurses and compounders consider them no less than docs. Because docs do not display a superior capability anywhere. compounders say that we can prescribe same medicines and same dosages than why should we be any less than them. Recommend

  • Sadia Hussain

    Where exactly are doctors supposed to perform surgeries for 30 hrs non-stop? I would definitely not want to go to a hospital like that or let anyone else go there….being on call for long hours doesn’t mean you are constantly on your feet…There are tons of professions out there where people are required to be on call for long hours….Unless you are performing your services volutarily, you are really going at it the wrong way by trying to elevate your profession over others, most people are just as passionate about their profession as you are about medicine….I unterstand the struggles and your frustrations and yes, people shouldn’t expect you to be gods and take out their anger on you when something happens to their loved ones but here is the fact, you are working with humans… if something goes wrong…people would blame you even if it’s not your fault…if I am working with a machine, I may end up breaking it and it may not be entirely my fault or incompetence but I am going to get blamed for it…

    Anyhow, things are bad for every profession in Pakistan…I am not against doctors going on strikes so their demands could be met but you can’t expect people to treat you guys as any other professional out there and then go on and on about how you guys are going over and above to serve humanity compared to the rest of us…Recommend

  • Ali S

    @abc:

    For your plan to work there the government healthcare system – where our medical graduates should ideally be serving – would need to be completely overhauled as well. How can someone who makes 24000 a month pay off those kind of loans?

    Sincerely, a Medical StudentRecommend