Are doctors there for patients, or money?

Published: March 24, 2011

It is no secret that doctors in Pakistan are woefully underpaid at every level.

The recent uproar regarding the issue of increasing doctor’s salaries saw the Young Doctor’s Association (YDA) take to the streets and boycott hospital wards.

The strike lasted over two weeks and finally came to an end on Monday, when YDA officers were called in for a meeting with Health Secretary Fawad Hassan Fawad and accepted the latter’s ‘word’ to speak to Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif on their behalf and raise salaries by July this year.

It is no secret that doctors in Pakistan are woefully underpaid at every level. Many would grant the YDA’s appeal for an increase in salary as a legitimate one, except that this appeal also stipulated that young doctors receive a pay increase bringing their salary mark from Rs18,000 to Rs70,000.

This falls into the pay bracket of associate professors and made the call seem a tad absurd, considering that first and second year residents were now demanding the same salary awarded to those supervising them.

The strike affected thousands of patients and YDA doctors set up camps outside hospitals after boycotting general wards. They also threatened to quit the emergency wards of all public hospitals if their demands weren’t met and announced a hunger strike.

A large number of protestors took to the streets against the YDA on March 20 chanting

Hamarey masiha, hamarey qatil

(our messiahs our killers).

That jibe points to a very precarious juncture in the decline of our collective civic sensibilities.

There is a reason why medicine is considered the noblest profession and this reason can be summed up in the principles underlined in the Hippocratic Oath. The ancient Greek oath historically penned down by Hippocrates in the late 5th century BC stipulated a conduct for physicians that went ‘above and beyond the call of duty’ in every respect.

Modern revisions of the oath, such as the Oath of Maimonides and a newer version drafted by Dr Louis Lasagna in 1964, have become the rite of passage for all doctors. The oath requires, among other things, that doctors never refuse treatment to a patient in dire need or discriminate between whom they choose to assist.

This is the reason why doctors are required to treat patients on death row regardless of their crime or the fact that they are liable for capital punishment following the treatment.

Now that the strike has been called off, the government needs to seriously re-evaluate pay scales for all medical professionals, who arguably work harder than anyone else, with little or no sleep and often even less to live on.

This episode has raised serious questions about the consequences of pushing the middle class to its limits. The fact that scores of young medical professionals in Punjab were willing to disregard their duty for a pay increase signals a dangerous turn of events.

It means that we have finally reached the point where nothing remains sacred and where even the business of saving lives could boil down to just that – a business.

Maria.Amir

Maria Amir

The writer has a Masters degree in Women's Studies from Oxford University and writes on identity, culture and current affairs

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

  • http://bakedsunshine.wordpress.com/ Shumaila

    I don’t understand what you’re trying to say. On the one hand you accept that the pay for doctors in this country is pitiful considering the work they do, and then on the other hand you say the strike was unacceptable. What do you expect us to do? If not strike, what else?

    Everyone who isn’t a doctor is obviously very comfortable with the status quo, that is, until they realise their loved ones aren’t going to be treated. Doctors are only human. Don’t expect more from us than you would do yourselves. And don’t push us to a limit. If the demands for increased pay had been met earlier this point would never have been reached.

    And I hate it when people bring up the Hippocrates Oath. The medical profession isn’t a business, but principles don’t fill a stomach.Recommend

  • http://www.6la8.com Confused

    Life is a business as well. Raising kids is an investment, marrying is an insurance and so on…Hippocratic Oath is an ideal goal and I couldn’t expect an doctor to be that noble. The only people that can reach those ideal are suicide bombersRecommend

  • Dia

    Controversial issue! Agreed its just a business now. Blame it on inflation, competition, unethical practices, no cognizance of medical ethics or whatever… Recommend

  • Rehman

    and when they want to leave the country you have problems with them too!!!look i tell you a thing!!the people who become doctors are very intelligent; and i mean very very intelligent!!hardworking to the limit like none other!and this is the same in every country!and this is the reason tht every country can accept a doctor from pakistan without caring for which institution he belongs too!so you see technically this country doesnt deserve such brains in such low pay!u cant really say that the money isnt thr because it is there but it never has been sanctioned!its just a warning spell!all these people who are protesting have actually preferred t stay here for their country!this is a out of a big heart!not many have such bighearts and they would leave obv!pakistan canot aford to have such a brain drain!!its lethal very lethal!!we have just 200 cardiologists for 180000000 people!take that!Recommend

  • http://weareourdesires.wordpress.com/ Amna Mela

    Excellent post. Especially the last line. There are a lot of people who think ethics are a luxury and should just be overlooked because ‘yeh Pakistan hai’. It’s not black and white. Everyone thinks doctors are underpaid and should receive raises. But for doctors to hold patients hostage to meet their demands? That is MESSED up. I don’t see what there is to ‘not understand’Recommend

  • Muhammad Javaid Abdul Ghani

    You people cannot imagine how many of these medical graduates who choose to stay in Pakistan go into business and other professions because if they beleive in ethics they cannot even support their families and provide their children with education in good schools. Where these politicans have always played the role of parasites by sucking people’s blood and the Pakistan army claiming to be the only department serving Pakistan because they are getting more than 80% of the budget being alloted to the defence sector, do you people think we can ever imagine of Pakistan being a developed country without spending on the education and health sectors? Recommend

  • Kiran Munawar

    Doctors have tried negotiating peacefully with the government for five full years. All in vain. Perhaps we can turn this vague criticism into a constructive one by suggesting to them alternative effective modes of protest. And I mean effective. I’m sure they will be heartily thankful to the critics for coming up with less violent solutions.Recommend

  • Fawad Sarwar

    Ms Maria, perhaps you don’t know the medical profession. These doctors are doing more than any profession in this country. I wonder their justified & genuine demand is not being digested by many including you. I can only feel sorry for people who have thinking like yours…Recommend

  • andrea

    Do you folks think medical doctors in other countries don’t complain about money and their business in other countries? Even in the developed West. most medical doctors unions are still complaining about being underpaid and overworked. Ask anyone who has a relation working abroad as a physician or surgeon. Moreover, there are all kinds of grants and incentives to encourage medical professionals to move to under serviced or remote areas in North America but despite that few want to go there. Sometimes I think the medical profession needs some tough love and needs to be told what to do and what they should be paid- period. I know because I have first hand knowledge as a medical resident. No matter what they get, they’ll want more; it’s human nature and it’s the same all over the world. Incidentally, it may come as a surprise but medical professionals are not the only people who work hard for a living. It’s only that the jaahil in Pakistan give medical professionals far too much “lift” for nothing. And trust me, I know this first hand from my own experiences when some Auntie asks me about economic policy! Recommend

  • faraz

    @Shumaila

    Firstly, doctors get thier medical education on tax payers money, their 5 years fee is less than a single Mba semester fee, so they should live with whatever pay they recieve. Secondly, thousands of doctors move abroad after getting education from govt institutions. Who is responsible for the people’s money that is wasted on their education. Thirdly, our doctors arent required to follow any SOPs. No inquiry is conducted for malpractice. Nobody’s medical lisence is cancelled in case of negligence. Fourthly, unlike other professions, doctors have the option of private practice alongwith a govt job. All doctors work at two or more hospitals at a time and earn a lot. Fifthly, ask the YDA to rally for removal of the tradition of taking Hippocritic oath, or should i say Hypocritic oath.Recommend

  • aafia

    @Shumaila:
    i agree with you my dear! we, pakistani docs, are living in a nation who has no respect for any one! it really hurts………. i am sorry to say, but no other profession is so much demanding; but in pakistan, those are paid higher who have less to work. i need not to mention who! we all know well…………Recommend

  • Majid Urrehman

    You have raised no point!Recommend

  • http://bakedsunshine.wordpress.com/ Shumaila

    I would have to agree with Rehman up there. The brain drain with regard to medical professionals is severe, perhaps even more than any other field. The majority of graduates from the best universities leave for abroad. And can you blame them considering how much they`re going to earn here? After five years of studying and training? This is not some discussed-over-the-tea-table issue any longer, it’s a serious problem, but apparently our people are so wonderfully dense they don’t understand issues unless they are striked about.Recommend

  • http://bakedsunshine.wordpress.com/ Shumaila

    @ faraz

    That;s a ridiculous point. All government institutions have low fees. That doesn’t mean you ‘buy’ off doctors just because med school fees are low.
    Yes, and I don’t blame them. If Pakistan wants to keep its doctors they should pay them decently.
    There are laws in place for medical negligence etc. Now if they aren’t followed, complain to those responsible for implementing those laws, not doctors. I don’t even see the relevance of this point to the issue at hand.
    You try working two jobs when you’re enrolled in a full time program at one hospital. And even supposing that’s possible – do you really think a harassed doctor running from one hospital to the other/his private clinic just to make enough money to support a family is a good idea? And then you complain of medical negligence.
    The Hippocratic Oath does not endorse starvation for one’s profession. If I am earning 18000 a month, I can barely afford the treatment I myself am prescribing. Chew on that.
    Recommend

  • andrea

    @aafia: It sounds more like you have no idea of how idea of how insensitive you sound, “….no other profession is so much demanding.” If you try to say that as a physician in North America, people would not only be offended but they would tell you off. Why is it that only medical doctors in Pakistan feel that they work. It’s a profession that they willingly chose. I know, I chose it. Yes I work hard but so does everyone else. Do I want to be well paid? You betcha ! But so does everyone else. And yes there are many professions and working people who work less than medical doctors and they earn more. It’s called the free market. I didn’t become a medical professional to demand respect from anyone. All human beings are worthy of respect despite their station in life and profession. This is the real reason why Muslim societies are held back; a false sense of entitlement and lack of understanding that all humans deserve to be treated equally. Recommend

  • saleem ullah

    hahah its v fuuny article
    can a hungry dyng doc save any one s life
    he is a human
    needs food a home etc for himself and family
    y people close eyes here from factsRecommend

  • saleem ullah

    @faraz:
    ve u ever read hipocratic oathRecommend

  • Ghazanfar

    I totally agree with

    “This episode has raised serious questions about the consequences of pushing the middle class to its limits”

    &

    “It means that we have finally reached the point where nothing remains sacred”Recommend

  • Khurram

    Paient Care and Welfare is definitely there for a very few doctors, unfortunately for the great majority of them, concern for patient care is way down the line if it is there at all. Their first and foremost priority is the almighty buck.Recommend

  • Karim Alam

    I think this all started when 100 percent rise was given to armed forces and then other government departments saw some rise as well. Recommend

  • http://ictec.wordpress.com M. Uzair Sukhera

    @andrea: Would you please pull up stats on doctor patient ratio in North America and Pakistan? Also would you like to present us with the figures of earning by North American physicians? Lets divide salary by number of patients treated… Also would you like to pay head to Inflation rates in Pakistan?

    If my stats are correct medicine is the well paid profession in North America. An engineering grad student wont even make 100k USD on average while Docs would do that. In Pakistan an average Bachelors Engineering Student would make 20-25k at first year while his fellow med students would still live on meager salaries for years to come.

    When people are saying docs are most hard working its with regards to their excessive workloads. Which surpasses that of engineers, lawyers and businessmen.

    You can’t compare stats of North America to Pakistan Andrea. PeriodRecommend

  • Ali Haider

    Doctors are humans too. We often forget this and just think of them as machines that are built to treat people. They need money to live and like anyone else are effected by increase in inflation. You have no ground.Recommend

  • saher

    med school fee low?? yes if u study in the govt institute, which has also risen its fee… if u study in a private institute, u invest anywhere from 16 to 35 hundered thousand… for 36 hours long duty afterwards for years on a meager pay… obnoxious.. i am not a doctor.. learning from the experiences of docs in family i chose another profession.
    docs are not angles.. they are human.. they need sleep, and food and good facilities to actually help those who need their help. otherwise they will resort to other practices.
    another lady dcotor went into depression when she was offered 25000 to teach biology at an elite english medium school and was offered 10000 at shifa. she was like.. why did i become a doctor, to teach kids :s
    docs are the cream of the nation .. the merit is the highest.. and at one time the pay of the peon and a junior doctor at Holy Family Rawalpindi were the same and i dun think there is much difference today either.. please give value to ur health and those who treat it. yes they mistreat the patients at time.. but what are they supposed to do when they are overworked and underpaid?? not all the docs who graduate remain in pak.. ofcourse they go abroad.. they need to eat to survive. today a 30 yr old engineer earns anywhere from 50-80k.. and a 30 yr old doc? 18k hardly :S Recommend

  • faraz

    @Shumaila

    Medical profession is specifically subsidized by the government. Medical education compared to other fields is very expensive; a private medical college may charge upto 2.5 million. All medical students can get a fee waiver under different programs. Medical colleges enroll thousands of students each year; no other field of education has that many seats in government institutions. You should be grateful to the government for the cheap education you recieve.

    I think Pakistan should educate only those doctors who are willing to work here in whatever pay they are given. Its taxpayers money; they decide what they want with their money.

    Ya, if these laws are strictly implemented, most of the doctors wont survive. Mostly general practitioners know nothing but an antibiotic+antiallergy+analgesic+antipyretic regime that they prescribe in 95% cases. If law are implemented, doctors wont be allowed to put patients, who die during surgery, on Heart-Lung machine so they can charge their relatives for a successful surgery. If you are in Lahore, there is a place near Minar e Pakistan where doctors buy third rate drugs in wholesale; you can buy cough syrups in barrels, and antibiotics in a jar containing thousands of tablets. If malpractice is taken out, most of your colleagues will be booted out.

    Which other country allows an FCPS trainee to perform surgeries in his respective specialty without supervision? Lax government revaluations allow doctors to earn huge. Again, you should be thankful to the government.

    If you are getting 18000, others are also earning in the same pay range e.g. teachers, engineers, bankers etc. There is nothing unique about your l8000, except that when clerks or teachers go on strike, people don’t die. Tens if not hundreds of patients die when an emergency room is closed. Forget about the Hippocratic Oath, closing down emergency is pure murder. Recommend

  • andrea

    @M. Uzair Sukhera: Why don’t you check publicly available sites through either the State Boards of Medicine in any American state or the provincial colleges for physicians and surgeons in any Canadian province. They can direct you to any number of sites which will show you that there are many regions which are underserved and a large number of the public who don’t have access to a physician because the majority of North American physicians prefer to live in comfortable urban areas rather than serve the public where their services are more in demand. Check any local physicians group and ask them whether they feel they are adequately reimbursed for their services. Your average Family Physician makes very little more than a PA ( Physician Assistant) or Nurse Practitioner despite these health professionals spending less than half the amount of time in training and college. Why don’t you compare apples to apples and not apples to oranges. Your average North American physician may make more than your comparable professional in Pakistan but they make about the same as most lawyers and Chartered Accountants. They definitely make much less than most senior management types at large companies. Maybe we should be worrying about raising the pay of Nurses in Pakistan to that of medical just like the salaries of PAs and Nurse Practitioners almost reaches that of Family Physicians in North America?Recommend

  • pakistani

    @docs..

    doctors pay may be less in pakistan but what is the percentage of when you go to a govt hospital and you find the doc on duty?all of them are busy in their private clinic and they are earning up tp 50000 per day by their illegal medical practice which is not the case in developed country… these docs are just behaving like trade unions and who can forget the doctors hospital case and that of mrs.huma akram? was any doctor hanged? just 5 years of mbbs edu and they think they are einstiens… Recommend

  • Yasir mahmood

    The title of the article “Are Doctors there for patients ,or money” to me suggests that the heavenly creature of doctors is both for money and patients. The overall economic crunch and alarming increase in prices of consumer goods have miserably broken the backs of middle class and the poor segment.
    The demand for increase in their wage bill is the fundamental right of YDA and the government should consider it as they are performing their duties beyond their call. You must be aware of the fact that political decision of SASTI ROTI has considerable negative impact on the financial position negating the importance of other sectors and they had to suffer with irreparable loss.
    I think that their demands for increment is genuine and must be account for. Recommend

  • http://ictec.wordpress.com M. Uzair Sukhera

    @Pakistani: How did underpayed police constables make their living? Through bribes right? With overhauling of their department and increased wages things have turned out good. How do you expect a doctor to discharge his duties with peace of mind while being under payed?

    @Pakistani and Faraz: There have been cases of medical negligence but dont forget that other professions are clean. Lawyers have a history of prolonged cases. There have been instances of thugs in civil works and engineering contracts. Malpractices exist everywhere. But does it stop Government from paying them well?

    @Faraz: True medical education is subsidized but isn’t the engineering education the same? UET’s fee structure is similar! Why are u comparing MBAs to doctors? MBA schools are expensive all across the world. but that’s not the point.

    With equal subsidies in engineering, social sciences and medical colleges the difference in pay scales is striking. A fresh engineer gets to SPS-8 in NESCOM with pay package around 40k. (with extended perks). Military has a good pay scale too. So your arguments don’t seem that much valid. Doctors are human too and they need a decent salary like others to make a decent living!

    @andrea: You seemed to have missed the entire point. No one is talking about under served areas in North America. Their under served will still be better than our best served. Doctor to patient ratio is very low in Pakistan. This reference (of figures) was with regards to your saying that jahil in Pakistan give too much ‘lift’ to doctors. Why not? Our health budget is trifling and that’s why the health system is overburdened. The doctors still working in such grueling routines deserve more respect than engineers (i being one), lawyers and businessmen.

    I may agree to your point that doctors would never agree to their compensation but in given scenario its unjust of you to tell that to government doctors in Pakistan. Their pays are no doubt extremely low. Where is your comparison of pays with lawyers, accountants etc. in Pakistan? I agree that nursing is under payed too. Who says they aren’t? The entire point is to compare the pay scale of medics with other professions. True doctors chose their profession but it doesnt mean that they starve all the way!Recommend

  • http://bakedsunshine.wordpress.com/ Shumaila

    @ Andrea. why on earth are you talking about understaffed areas of North America? What has that got to do in any way with the discussion at hand? You may feel that since doctors in USA are complaining without cause we must be doing the same – but its not the same. Its not a free market here (where is it ever a free market?) and the government needs to set the bar at the appropriate level before private hospitals do the same.

    Moreover, I don’t demand respect and I agree that everyone should be paid according to their efforts. I am all for raising nurses’ wages too, but fat good that would do when even doctors aren’t earning enough.

    @faraz – Again, malpractice isn’t the issue at stake here. I would be very glad if all those pseudo-collegues of mine that are putting people’s lives at risk and doing surgeries and pata nahin kya have their licenses revoked for malpractice, but I’m not a lawyer, go talk to the judiciary about malpractice suits and the implementation of laws.

    And we are grateful to the government, okay, big deal. Gratitude doesn’t fill a stomach either.

    I think Pakistan should raise wages, decrease the number of medical colleges, and implement some sort of ban on going abroad after your MBBS for at least a minimum of two years. But wages should be raised first or there will be a lot of starving, frustrated doctors stuck in the country and you don’t want that to happen.

    And I agree, I don’t think the critical areas of any hospital should be left unmanned (were they?) in a strike. But not every area is critical and if the main wards and OPDs are shut down for a strike it is perfectly justifiable. In fact, I would endorse it, since no one is listening to us otherwise. Recommend

  • dr yasir irshad

    the article is highly provocative,and based on some false facts…1.we YDA has not called back the strike2.we want pay rise of house officers to 35,000 rs, medical officer to 70,000 rupees,,,if stupid judges just after LLB GET 90,000 RUPEES ALONG WITH corruption money that is always atleast 5 lac rupees a month and is 100 percent prevelant in these judges ,,our demands are just peanut,,,well the authour assumes that a docyor isnt human…sir, humanity comes after asic necessities…if ur basic necessities are not fulfilled,,u feel deprived ,u are unable to carry out marriage or u cant educate ur child because of low pays ,,,humanity is just a rhetoric,,which is used to further exploit doctors,,,,well the govt. may increase easily our pays…but they are wasting the national treasury in ,,susta tandoor,benazir income support programe, susti roti,etc…where this national wealth is being looted in corrupton….also handsome amount is being spent on lavish life style of these ugly rulers,,,(i m talking of whole ruling elite, not a single party…) in india A MEDCAL OFFICER GETS 1 lac 60 thousand pakistani,,and u cant give us just 60 thousand…well if ur ruling elite can only exploit country and countrymen…and cant give anything for welfare of country,,,plz stop drama of 2 nation theory and religion..we will feel better in india….thanx….Recommend

  • dr yasir irshad

    @Ghazanfar:
    good…very good….agreed my dear….Recommend

  • dr yasir irshad

    @Yasir mahmood:
    very well said…agreed bro…Recommend

  • malang

    Firstly, thank you all for your comments.
    I would like to raise the point that I do actually support the YDA strike, the entire point of this piece was to illustrate that the ‘threat’ to boycott emergency wards did conflict with the Hippocratic oath not the demand to ask for fair wages. The YDA’s threat to quit emergency wards would have amounted to qualified medical professionals not treating people in ‘dire’ need because of their pay issues. And yes, that is is a conflict and the Hippocratic Oath is important …or needs to be…for any doctor.

    Regarding pay, doctors absolutely deserve a pay increase but that increase needs to be across the board. It is not reasonable to assume that junior doctors will receive a pay increase equivalent to that of their seniors and that the latter will sign off on it. Negotiations between the government and the medical community over this issue have been going on for five years and it is understandable that the delay has turned these negotiations sour. Call me naive but when a qualified medical professional threatens not to save a life in need because of their pay, that does go against everything their profession stands for. And I did acknowledge that their profession stands for much more than other professions do.
    That said, the government’s stance on these delays has been abominable and I do feel that given the immense pressure on them now, the new July deadline will be met. If it isn’t I will probably be with the doctors on the streets campaigning for them. But no, I will never support trained professionals voluntarily boycotting emergency patients.
    Someone up there said, that this piece made no sense because I had represented both sides of the story…that is called trying to take a rational stance. Recommend

  • pakistani

    @dr yasir

    your language proves my point…do i need to add anything about the qualification of young doctors like you?5years of mbbs edu changed nothing in u…just cramming a few hundred pages of books… for your money you want to prove the 700 millions muslims of 1947 to be idiots? you are talking about indian doctors but you forget one thing..when the wife of wasim akram was ill it was the indian doctors who were willing to treat her without pay not like you Young doctors who were demanding their fee up front…

    @m.uzair

    you are right that police performance can be increased by money…but not of doctors..if anybody remembers there was a government scheme to ban private practice and start evening shift in govt hospitals but what was the result?all these so called messiahs went on strike because they didnt become doctors to serve humanity…they want money and want it fast…dont take my words but ask any young doctor that they will get 1lac per month but they will do just hospital job and no private clinics and you will see their answers…and the pay structure didnt become like this overnight..it was like this when these so called young “doctors” decided to get in to medical colleges..they should have done MBA and were better off doing 9-5 jobs and earning handsome money …and still they would mint money from medical reps…out of 100times i would find 90times that a medical rep is in a doctors office when i go to a hospital…and the rest is anybody guess :) best of luck YDA…from 17000 to 70000 is too much… especially when 50 percnet of the population is living under 2dollars a day … pathetic strike…bluntly selfish…Recommend

  • pakistani

    @dr. yasir

    what do you mean by real id? i am a pakistani like the 180millions which cannot afford your high fees and dies on daily basis because of your substandard prescriptions and private colleges “doctors” who are just doctors because they have money …if india is such a good place then i suggest you people go to india…may be you will get very good respect there on the basis of your qualifications :) best of luckRecommend

  • Salman Orangiwala

    Errr , pardon me every body . Just my two cents here :

    Once a very well known Senior Paksitani Surgeon (FRCS and was then praticing in Dr .Ziauddin Hospital , Karachi ) , was asked by me why he wanted to go to the United Kingdom to get his cataract operated ?

    He vey non-chalanrlty answered ” Paksitani Doctors ? they are no less than buthcers ”

    May be he overstated a little bit but arent the 90% of the doctors of this country are so ? Recommend

  • Tamoor Azhar

    There is a big problem exist between YDA & Govt officials if i can accept that Doctors is doing well for there upcoming financial issues so another question is also raised for both
    of Departments that where is gonna Deserving patients ..?nop
    As a result a big protestors is also coming against YDA ….doctors is loose our reputation as compare to increase our salaries in future. ( nice post )Recommend

  • andrea

    @dr yasir irshad: I don’t know what disputes over the working conditions and pay for Pakistani physicians has to do with the 2 nation theory. If you ask me, there are many nations in South Asia- Pakistan being one of them. It happens to be my home and if money is your idea of nationality, then I suggest you move to a Western nation where you can earn more after you write your equivalency exams and redo your post graduate medical training. If you want to be in India, go there but ask yourself why thousands of Indian graduates all run away to the West and the United States after graduation. Maybe they want America to rule India? Seriously speaking, medical doctors do deserve better pay and working conditions but they also must also acknowledge that other medial professionals, notably nurses need to be paid better. The entire medical profession in Pakistan is quick to press for their rights but what about their obligations? The public has a right to demand professional behaviour by medical doctors and not just the recognition of respect. As for the number of medical schools in Pakistan, they are churning out a great many medical doctors such that the ratio of population to physician is hardly as abysmal as one writer here suggests. The one idea I agree with is that all new graduates should be required to work in an underserved area for 1 to 2 years as compensation for the relatively inexpensive medical education they were granted in Pakistan. Does anyone have any idea of how much debt your average American grad is saddled with upon graduation!Recommend

  • DR SHIMAIL DAUD

    Ok Doctors and doc attackers. I will speak from an impartial stand point despite being a doc.

    Can I draw attention to the real problem at hand. Let me spell it out for everyone…. WE LACK HONESTY!

    I mean doctors or not doctors. All of us. We want to get treated by docs but we want them to be angels or mother teresa where as we can be the villains in each and every respect. We want to complain about greed of any other sector while we want to con each and everyone around us be it, we are in service or industrial or business sectors.

    We want to rip people off when we get a chance to sell them anything but we want the doctor to either give us free treatment or charge less. We love to nag about how doctors / specialists are so greedy and charge so high while we pay more for a useless make up stop before going to a one night show off dinner party.

    I mean the list can go on and on of our double standards of looking at life as we know it in Pakistan. Why because we are not honest with do you know who? WE ARE NOT HONEST WITH OUR OWN SELVES!

    There are people in different parts of the country complaining and standing up for their rights
    TEACHERS, HEALTH WORKERS, DOCTORS, BUREAUCRATS!

    WHY? WHY? simply because injustice is being done. If they are making noise they must be heard. Their complaints must be heard. We talk about Democracy. Democracy is about listening not intolerance and picking up what you like!

    IF THE PEOPLE OF PAKISTAN WANT DEMOCRACY THEN WE HAVE TO GET USED TO UNREST IF PEOPLE ARE NOT BEING LOOKED AFTER. OTHERWISE ALLOW DICTATORSHIP FOR A 100 YEARS!

    Doctors are the most highly paid sectors in all the developed world. Why? Are they crazy? Because they know the importance and strength of this sector. Keep on pushing the remaining ones out and you will all be left with goofs who will help kill the rest of us all!!!!Recommend

  • Fawad Sarwar

    Another problem is of financing of healthcare, health is taken for-granted in our country. Every body thinks that health should be given free to all by the government even the person is well affording. This attitude does not prevail all over the world. Either they pay their contribution in terms of taxes (from 25 to 40%) or pay in terms of the health insurance premium. Then the funds collected are utilized to pay for health care services including the fee/pay for doctors. Unfortunately, we could not develop any system like that and it is the need of our to think about that……..!!!!!!!!! I can contribute much on this topic but……Recommend

  • http://bakedsunshine.wordpress.com/ Shumaila

    @ pakistani – please spend your life working among sick, hurting, screaming, crying, despairing, dying humans before you call us selfish, hmm? Of course we’re not working for humanity, oh no, we witness and go through more suffering in a week than the average healthy person faces in ten years, and yet we’re all just moneymakers in disguise.

    Dude, you’ve had some bad experiences, I guess. I can understand how that would make you unhappy in your view of doctors overall. However, the depth of your attitude is not justifiable. Obviously nothing I can say will be able to convince you that he plight of doctors is serious, since you know soo much about it already and have soo much evidence of how all doctors everywhere are secretly earning money under the table. Well. Fine. To you your misconceptions, to me mine.Recommend

  • Kaleem

    This article lacks any valid argument whatsoever. Lets agree on basics. Everyone regardless of profession needs to have access to basic needs and everyone doing his job properly is just doing what they are expected to do. No element of “serving the humanity” needs to be incorporated in that. That element only comes when you do something beyond the call of duty e.g., a doctor doing voluntary service or not charging for the service for part of his time. Rest is a job in a world where if you don’t have money or place to live, you would not survive just because of your service to humanity. And like any other profession, it is perfectly reasonable for doctors to negotiate for acceptable terms and conditions of service. Strike, unfortunately is the only option left when doors of negotiation are closed. I see no reason why doctors should be treated in a different way. The problem we have is that in so called Islamic Republic of Pakistan, which was supposed to be a welfare state, no health system exists which could cater for the needs of the population. What a contradiction. On one hand country needs doctors and hospitals but on the other hand it does not have money to employ them or to pay them a salary which at least allows them to focus on their jobs and have a decent living standard. They are only asking for what is reasonable as compared to pays of other professions with matching educational and workload demands. However for our politicians, it should not be a concern because when they have any health problems, they can catch next flight to London and receive the treatment so why should they be concerned about the plight of hospitals, patients, nurses or doctors. What a dual faced policy. Recommend

  • Hasna Sami

    Lets say you are a receptionist working at a firm and you are seriously underpaid. You feel that you do not get back as much as you contribute. You do the coffee rounds, the appointments, the phone calls etc. Its not a very hard job, but its still your time, your body and your mind put to use. This is your labour. You are offering it, not for someone to use your labour, but so that you may benefit from it.
    Now what if your job is not to serve coffee but to save lives, you spend years and years studying. This is a lot of labour, you exert your mind and your energy to become a doctor. You do one of hte hardest jobs in the world, you offer your resources to people. You are the one that put in the hard work, you are the doctor. You are the one people need.
    Yet you are not paid for this service, those who did not care to become doctors, now think it is their right to be treated by you. Because you must value human life, you must offer your services no matter what. If you do not, you are a murderer.
    However did you once think that the patient must value the service being offered? That the patient must value the life of the doctor who put in years to get where he or she is? That he must be rewarded for saving your life?
    No. You think it is a pity that they are not out there saving lives for free. Why is it a business?
    Because you are offered a service greater than any other. You are offered the mind of a person who can save your life, and for that you do not wish to pay him or her what she deserves?
    If only we could honour the power of the mind and those who have worked hard to be who they are, we would value the concept of man as a heroic being and the greatest value would be the labour that has emanated from that mind. Only then would we progress as a society.Recommend

  • Yasir Mahmood

    @PAKISTANI
    don’t be emotional, prove what are you saying?Recommend

  • pakistani

    @yasir

    my point is : how many of your YDA “doctors” are fit to qualify the licensing exam of he USA to which you are very keen to compare ur salaries? leave USA…how many of your YDA are or were eligible for admission in the govt medical colleges of pakistan?
    my point is with respect comes responsibility…but you people have lost all….as compared to say 10 or 20 years back when a doctor was treated like an angel but now ask any average pakistani about a pakistnai doctor and post his/her answer here please… :) best of luck for you trade union strike… Recommend

  • pakistani

    @shumaila…

    no i dont have any bad memories with doctors and i didnt say all docs are bad… of course there are still some great doctors who are doctors just for the sake of humanity and they are living a happy life as nobody is telling you that you should not earn money…but when a student sit in the entrance exam of a medical college (in case of govt colleges and not the private factories which dont follow any standard but just money) the student knows that they would be working with sick and desperate people…i have worked for 3 months in the emergency ward of a DHQ hospital and we used to see these cases on hourly basis and sometimes were forced to stay late in the evening without lunch or any rest while the official timing was 2pm… but sometimes there would be a patient like a snake bitten boy and he would be lying in the ward as the doctor on duty was having his breakfast and would be late for his duty…so what if that patient die?which he did..

    look at the doctors who were busy in the IDP camps and the flood affectee camps…? nobody is telling you to become an Edhi as its too much to expect but at least there should be a difference in a doctor and a butcher… what are our police getting per month?what about teachers?engineers?we should be content in our own economy as we are not a 10triilion economy but a 56billion debted economy and i am not against any raise for the doctors but doctors should also think of their prime duty and not only money as the poor people of this country cannot afford their huge consultation fees along with the expensive lab tests which are usually not needed…Recommend

  • faraz

    All doctors who stay here are those who fail to get a job abroadRecommend

  • Usman

    @faraz:

    If medical students get their education on tax payer’s money then that’s also the case with many scandinavian countries. However there they don’t just live on what they get… Try searching for their incentives and bonuses and you’ll come to know. If judges can get pay rise why can’t doctors ?? After all they also received their education on tax payer’s money !! As far as malpractice is concerned, don’t try to be smart. If you want that kind of medical accountability as in US or UK then first provide medical professionals with the same level of facilities and salary !! A doctor after getting his MD (equivalent of MBBS) in US gets atleast 3000 US$ per month. And here we only get 18000 Rs/. What a shame !!! If you were a doctor then I bet you would be doing exactly the same as being done by YDA. First give doctors their due rights as in any developed country then ask for accountability. Recommend

  • dr yasir irshad

    @pakistani:
    thanx for ur best wishes…u cant deny fact pakistani doctors are famous in UNITED STATES for their hard work..u are not imbecile enough to not understand fact ,,,USMLE ie liscencing exam of US is expensive exam,,,also there are visa embargos on pakistan..when we compare us to other south indian nations..still our doctors who are appearing in USMLE has good passing ratio…and percentage wise better than american graduates…well according to u, doctors have lost respect…ok…tell me one profession which is being respected today? are teachers respected? politicians? terrorist mullahs, even ur president or prime minister or chief minister is not respected…u are using ID pakistani ..is pakistani a respected word world wide…lolRecommend

  • pakistani

    @yasir

    exactly..pakistani is not a respected word because of the “doctors” trade union that is YDA … respect is not lost because of the farmer who works overtime in their field to produce wheat and rice for us or the teacher who sit in the classroom without fan and electricity and even in tent schools … scrap all private colleges, and PMDC exam must for those doing MD from abraod…then we will see the level of doctors and they would be deserving of the 70000 per month…and dont compare mullah and terrorist with a doctor…please give some respect to you profession… and politicians? student try to get into medical college or engineering..then they try to go for science..then CSS or PCS and then arts and etc etc..and those who are no good for anything becomes politicians…so if you want to become like them then most welcome..the debate is over then…Recommend

  • dr yasir irshad

    @pakistani:
    first use ur original ID…u think that on wealth and good money ..there is right of only politicians …judges,,,and CSP officers…in the name of country and religion ..ruling oligarchy is exploiting us for last 63 years…you are not ordinary pakistani…u are commision agent of ruling elite….Recommend

  • andrea

    @dr yasir irshad: Yes Pakistani professionals are respected in many parts of the world, including North America where I live. I am forever grateful that my nation gave me quality low cost education that allows me to compete anywhere in the world. And yes the cost of my Pakistani medical education and overall education is hardly a fraction of what others in the West pay. That’s why I think it’s great idea that all new MBBS graduates in Pakistan do a mandatory 1 to 2 years service in an underserved or rural area as suggested by a blogger here. I have seen that some residency programs in the US are familiar with graduates from several medical schools in Pakistan and consequently are more inclined to accept their students; for example, Khyber Medical College, King Edward Medical College and Dow have large number of graduates practicing in the British Isles and North America. And yes I would agree that Pakistani medical doctors are well respected in North America because they have established a reputation for hard work and professionalism. As for the respect for medical doctors in the world today. You are right , the world is a changing place and overall, professionals of all types are no linger getting the automatic respect they once commanded. It’s a function of education. The more educated a population, the less mystique there is about any one profession. In the US, anyone can become a medical doctor- you just have to put in the time. People say it’s a choice that you make and you accept. As for what a resident here makes, you forget that cost of living is higher and the tax takes away a good chunk of your income. Even then, it’s about the Free Market and you can’t compare any 3rd World Country with a developing nation.Recommend

  • dr yasir irshad

    @pakistani: by twisting words u have won debate…u are just agent of ruling elites..that is reason ..u think pakistani doctors who did great job in abroad should be banned…ok go to ur bosses ask them to ban pakistani medical colleges…lol….Recommend

  • dr yasir irshad

    @pakistani:
    u are not ordinary pakistani…u are commision agent of ruling class…that have appointed u on hefty amount to spread propaganda against doctors…Recommend

  • dr yasir irshad

    @pakistani:
    pakistani..the whole teamof YDA is doing residency..after passing FCPS PART 1 …many have passed MRCP 1 AND 2,,,I CAN NAME THEM…i myself is resident of FCPS cardiology…we are not commision agent of ruling class like u….who have appointed you to make hue and cry against us…on hefty amout of bugs,,,,lolz……Recommend

  • pakistani

    @dr.yasir

    dear doctor..u cannot have your pie and eat it too… on one hand you want to be like our policiticians and on the other hand you want to be respected? think of how many millions of jokes are daily circulated against our president or our parliamentarians? you want to become like them? and that is a nice suggestion that doctors should practice 2 years in far off areas before allowing them to have private clinics or moving abroad…

    and i am an agent of the ruling elite about 180millions living under 2dollars a day..and i try to give your message to them but seeing is believing and they only believe what their doctors do….respect should be earned :)Recommend

  • dr yasir irshad

    @pakistani:
    56 billion debt economy….wow..are doctors responsible for this weak economy?no..these are ur masters..who can pay millions to newspapers and media to defame doctors,,,but cant increase our pay….Recommend

  • dr yasir irshad

    @Shumaila:
    good comment shumaila….Recommend

  • dr yasir irshad

    doctors should also think their problems are not isolated…their problems are related with that of soceity in which we live…unluckily our nation is facing a very bad time..because of incompetent and corrupt elite…we should make ties with other sections of society as well ..we are part of working class…being most educated layer of working class,we should join them and educate them to change the social order of country,,,to change by a revolution…this ruling class cant solve a single problem of country. in past 64 years they even couldnt provide clean water to citizens of paistan accross the board..the only solution is revolution of working class and poor exploited peasants..Recommend

  • dr yasir irshad

    @pakistani: u r on official duty…doing ur duty for ur masters…i.e the ruling class of pakistan…how much amount u get from ur masters to defame doctors?Recommend

  • pakistani

    @yasir

    hahaha…yes i know whole YDA are “doctors” from the fromer soviet union states and some other 3rd class medical schools… they are rejected from pakistani medical colleges..if you people could clear USMLE u would have been in USA long ago… so stop crying like babies and get on with work and whatever you get ..i think 18000 are too much to pay doctors like you…if you are so intelligent and india is such a good country so you better pack your bags and go there…happy journey… anybody who would tell the truth and talk some sense is your enemy and agents of the ruling elite…you should look at the mirror and think about the thousands of patients who remained unattended due to the trade union YDA strike… and mind you the ruling elite treat their near and dear ones at expensive private and foreign hospitals so your strike didnt make any difference to them..nawaz sharif was treated at london..so whats your point of strike?who suffered? you can continue with your ruling elite agent mantra..i wouldnt reply now… make yourself happy by increasing the miseries of the 180million ruling elites by strike…let them die…let them suffer…Recommend

  • faraz

    @Usman

    Dont compare doctors of Pakistan with doctors of other countries. Compare the salary of a doctor with that of other professionals inside Pakistan. 3000$ in US is not equivalent to 260,000 Rs in Pakistan; the cost of living in US is compatible with the pay they recieve. I know many doctors working in US who live in flats; they dont live in mansions. Well judges dont have the option to work at more than one courts; doctors easily earn over 80,000 by working at 2 or more hospitals. Malpractice in medicine is a criminal offence, it cant be made conditional on salary. Sorry, i am not that smart to kill a person in response to my low salary. Btw, I am a doctor, and i know how many patients die from negligence or mere callous attitude of the doctors, and the patients never get to know who did what.Recommend

  • andrea

    @dr yasir irshad: Tell us more about medical doctors in India since you are so keen on things in other countries. Have you thought about moving there to make up for all the Indian medical doctors who are trying to run to the West? Since money is the be all and end all, why can’t you just run to wherever you make more money and since nationality in your mind equals money- find the place in the world where you can make the most money and ask for nationality there.Recommend

  • http://www.adnanjabbar.com Adnan

    Ms. Maira :
    I’m disgusted by the way you have commented on our noble profession .. I would have to say nothing except you have Women’s Studies degree and no one has given the right to you to bash and throw mud on Medical Profession people. You haven’t studied medicine so it’s easy for you to say all this. Living and Studying in Oxford doesn’t mean that you start comparing the doctors pay and lifestyle of UK with us in Pakistan …

    Regards
    Dr. AdnanRecommend

  • khalid a;i

    @faraz: Dear there is no emergency closed. Only strike in opds. Can you tell me the way a doctor can protest so that pt. do not suffer? Many young doctors are those who have got education from private medical colleges with huge fees. How can they work on such pay scale. Now the people have to pay back their fee. If they will not be payed properly then they will leave the country. Then the pakis will be left only with quacks which they deserve. The misery will be when your dear one has a heart attack and no good physian is here to look after him then you will know the importance of good doctors. Recommend

  • http://bakedsunshine.wordpress.com/ Shumaila

    I think the argument is getting out of hand. @faraz – I knew it! You sounded like a doctor. I know and I agree that so many patients die daily cos of negligence and it breaks my heart when I think about it – allah bachaey hospitals say sab ko – and I am all for stronger rules and crackdowns on negligent doctors. I don’t think low pay is an excuse for negligence either.
    But you have to agree that the pay is way too low at the moment and it should be increased to a decent level or it will simply increase the flux of doctors abroad and leave a bunch of no-goods here. And that won’t improve matters as far as negligence is concerned.

    @pakistani – the USA bit is entirely being cynical, and if that were the case then I could say the same for other professions – in which case, the whole nation is being run by people who failed to get a US visa :/ …maybe that’s true, but do you see the cynicism? Honestly, a large percentage of doctors are people who are genuinely working. Why should they suffer just because some are negligent? Weed out the bad ones. I think the rest deserve the pay rise and I think they should’ve gotten it earlier and without having to have called a strike.

    @ Adnan and dr yasir – why the personal attacks? thats just mean, man.Recommend

  • Mohammad Yousaf

    Every body has a right to protect and Doctors are part of our society too but please have minimum staff available at the emergencies. I just read the news that little girl has died because the children hospital was closed due to the protest her father brought her from Hafizabad.

    I just have one question would you come out of protest if that was your child??.
    Doctors are in the business of saving lives not ruining lives all you have to do to manage your protest more effectively so that no innocent life is taken away.

    Thank you

    YousafRecommend

  • Salman Orangiwala

    @ Dr Yasir , have been going through this debacle , Quite amazing .
    The disucssion doesnot tempt me to poke my nose , but again …..It is my hard earned money that would be channelised to you and your kind of Paksitani ” Doctors’ ” monthly stipend .

    Let me clarify one very pristine fact , What Pakistani masses say regarding the ” image” of Medical Doctors in Paksitan , wanna know ?. Go out in Public and find yoursef , if alreday you havent .

    Haven’tyou heard the saying that goes in Karachi ( and maybe in your Lahore too )

    ” Allah police , wakeel aur dotoron se kabhi kisi ka wasta na parwai ”

    I have personal , bitter than miasma experience of Doctors in Public ( Govt ) hospitals and in private practices ,as well .

    I had a chance to work for a brief period as the IA ( Internal Audit ) Chief of the second largest Hospital of Karachi where my work-scope included verifying the “CLAIM BILLS”
    of the so called hyped CONSULTANTS . You wanna write me in this forum my findings ?Dont think so . Recommend

  • Usman

    @faraz:

    Again you yourself are suggesting that doctors can earn easily over 80,000 /day by working at 2 or more hospitals. Firstly, even if u work privately in addition to a govt hospital you manage to make only something like 45000/day (22000 in a govt setting and similar is the pay scale for a young doctor at a private hospital). We here are talking about the young doctors i.e. House Officers and PGRs not the consultants who may earn that much amount at a private hospital. BUT even this suggestion of yours is in itself not justified. Everywhere in the world doctors get to work only at a SINGLE hospital; nowhere do they have to work at a govt and private hospital. In fact it’s illegal and highly unethical for a doctor at a govt hospital to work privately; that’s why doctors here are demanding a pay rise so that no one has the reason to work at 2 hospitals. This happens all over the world where doctors at govt hospitals never work privately, and similarly doctors working privately do not hold a post at a public sector hospital. Secondly, get your facts straight; my brother still 2 yrs younger than me (26 yr) is earning MASHALLAH 70,000 per month as a software engineer. When he started 2 yrs back even then he was something like 45000 per month. How do you say that the salaries of a doctor are comparable with other professionals here in Pakistan ??? Thirdly, I give to you the example of our neighbor India- a third world country; where a medical officer immediately after house job is getting something around 50,000 Indian Rupees per month ( more than 75000 PKR). What do you have to say now ?? Atleast Indian govt is smart enough to know that a young doctor atleast deserves this much. Finally as far as your claim that you’re a doctor (which I doubt) you should have known that medical malpractice and negligence are happen anywhere in the world; also in USA. You have to look at the root causes. You are pointing out that doctors can earn good money working at 2 or more hospitals. That is the biggest issue !!! Govt should pay the docs so that they don’t have to work at multiple hospitals. If a Govt doctor knows he’s getting a decent respectable salary why should he work at a private hospital ??? This can easily done via legislation. Why doesn’t Govt take any action against docs working at 2 hospitals at the same time ?? Simple, because they have to give the doctors their due rights and salary. So the status quo.Recommend

  • http://saidcanblog.blogspot.com Said Chaudhry

    Didnt read all the comments, mostly because it would take an entire day. But did someone bring up the fact that the current pay for H.O’s is so diminutive compared to the hours of work they have to put in? I dont think any other profession can compare to it and its a fact that deserves to be looked at very carefully by the government. I disagree with young doctors going on strike, as do all young doctors who are currently on strike, and that’s a testament to how gutted they feel. Things are that bad. Recommend

  • faraz

    @Usman

    Firstly, young doctors not only perform their duties, they also learn at the expense of the patients and get a degree in the process. After acquiring a specialization degree, they can get a well paid job in most of the countries. Young doctor is actually a trainee, not a specialist! I agree that second job is unethical for a government employee, so why don’t you include a ban on second jobs in the list of demands.

    Secondly, you are wrongly comparing public with private sector. Ask your brother how much does a government institution pay to engineers. and how many jobs are available for software engineers? I can assure you, there are very few software engineers in Pakistan unlike young doctors which number in tens of thousands. Seriously, your brother has more demand in the market than doctors. I think you find it strange because you were the brilliant one and now the lesser genius is earning more!

    Thirdly, I am not saying that the pays should not be increased. I am saying that young doctors should have some patience; they are trainees not experts. Their income will increase as they complete their training programs and start practicing as full time consultants. A specialist in a small city can easily earn over Rs.100,000 from a single job.

    Here is the root cause of our problems: About 60-70% students who enter into a medical college belong to small cities and villages. But most of them never return to their native areas; this leads to severe competition for jobs and enables the hospitals to pay lesser salaries. The problem is that medicine was considered a field that would change the entire socioeconomic status of an individual; but that’s no more the case, they are just too many of them in large cities. If you want to earn huge, move to a small city. Recommend

  • http://ictec.wordpress.com M. Uzair Sukhera

    @ Pakistani (undercover ID fellow):
    Electrical engineers also get similar pays. So do most engineers. Govt job (in NESCOM) gives SPS-8 to engineers. Its 40k plus the additional pays and perks. Even Wapda, OGDC jobs are well paying for us engineers as compared to our counterpart doctors. Where do you get your facts from?

    If you are ok with your pay so be it. Why do you want to enforce your way onto others?Recommend

  • dr yasir irshad

    @faraz.. after 5 years of intense hard work we want better pays for us..so that we may support our families….if u disagree with this demand…its ur democratic right..go to ur masters ie..ruling classes of pakistan and tell them that YDA PUNJAB are not wlling to work on pays they are getting…jo krna hai ker lo…hum to strike karen ge….do whatever u or your masters want to do….Recommend

  • dr yasir irshad

    @andrea: i have passed MRCP 1 AND 2..PREPARING FOR PACES,,,dont worry….i wil go abroad…unluckily no one change his place of birth…otherwise i would never born to a place..where people like u ..say not a single word on lavish life style corruption and exploitation of masses by ruling elite but are very good to accuse doctors…
    @pakistani:
    baby…u are crying ,,,we are not crying ..we are struggling for betterment of our conditions…do whatever u want..do whatever ur masters want to do…we will never back off…Recommend

  • Usman

    @faraz:

    “After acquiring a specialization degree, they can get a well paid job in most of the countries. Young doctor is actually a trainee, not a specialist! I agree that second job is unethical for a government employee, so why don’t you include a ban on second jobs in the list of demands.” Well for your information YDA already has this demand of ban on private practice of govt doctors; if they are paid adequately.
    You are right that after getting a specialization degree they can get a well-paid job in most of the countries. BUT We here are talking about Pakistan where even after FCPS, the doctor -now a specialist earns a meager 35000/month. I can quote you example of a doctor at my institute KING EDWARD MEDICAL UNIVERSITY who graduated from here in 1996; then obtained FCPS specialization degree in General Medicine and Gastroenterology; yes-2 FCPS degrees and is now working as Assistant Professor at Mayo Hospital with a monthly salary of 36000/month. In Pakistan even after specialization you don’t get a decent respectable salary; hence the continuous strikes.
    As for as the fact that how much govt engineers earn, well I personally know a childhood friend of mine who after BS (not MS) in architecture Engineering got a job with a starting salary of 30000/month. They may not earn that much but they definitely earn better than their doctor counterparts.

    “Their income will increase as they complete their training programs and start practicing as full time consultants. A specialist in a small city can easily earn over Rs.100,000 from a single job.” I have given you the reference of a full time consultant at KEMU earning 36000/month while possessing 2 FCPS degrees. A specialist in a small city earns 100,000 not from a single job but from simultaneous public and private sector jobs which leads to neglect on the part of that doctor with respect to his duties at govt setup; this should be discouraged.

    Finally the fact that there is competition among jobs which enables hospitals to pay lesser salaries is also not the case. As far as Govt hospitals are concerned pay is decided by the provincial govt and hospital has nothing to do with it. For private hospitals the major determinant of a young doctor’s salary is the salary which he would otherwise receive had he been working in a govt hospital. I clearly remember that when the salaries of young doctors were increased by some 25 % a few yrs back the private hospitals were also forced to announce a similar increase in salaries of young doctors since otherwise no one was willing to work there.
    Well for me I didn’t move to a small city to earn huge; I have recently moved abroad to Saudi Arabia for this purpose. If the govt turns a deaf ear to the demands of young doctors then many more will leave their homeland and only the general population of Pakistan will suffer in the end.Recommend

  • andrea

    @dr yasir irshad: Physicians treat both the physical and emotional well being of patients and no one has denied that it is a vocation that is both a calling and a profession. I have practiced medicine for over a decade and I am immensely proud of the good that I can achieve. You on the other hand seem only to have financial gain and lavish living on your mind. You seem to think that because others are living lavishly, it follows that you should live lavishly. All the power to you. Just know that there are easier ways to make money in the West apart from the practice of medicine. We are all against corruption and the excesses of of an insensitive ruling class in our native land who does not pay its fair share of tax. You on the other hand, want to live like them instead of working for the greater public good. This is the difference between you and other Pakistani physicians. I truly hope that you go abroad to see things in a different light since you obviously have a limited perspective.Recommend

  • dr yasir irshad

    @andrea:
    u told u are in united states…ager aap itne ache ya achi ho…to bhashan mut do ..pakistan aa ker kaam karo…lol….if u are such a good person..come back to your mother land and work here..its very easy to advise others but difficult to act upon ur own words…by the way ..are u in america to serve humanity? if so come back to pakistan….here u will find more ailing humanity….Recommend

  • andrea

    @dr yasir irshad: You seem to ignore that many physicians, myself included, do work in Pakistan for a good part of the year. Moreover, I have worked in Pakistan for extended periods. This is why I truly hope you go abroad to see the reality of the world. I hope you learn to appreciate the education and training you received for a fraction of what others have paid. I hope you also learn to see how hard everyone works- not only in medicine. While you’re out of the country, I want you to compare what people in the medical profession make and compare with other professionals and businessmen. I have never said that I am practicing medicine in Pakistan or abroad for good or ” sawab” but for my own professional development and self. As I have said, it is both a vocation and a profession. By the way, I do charge for my services but there is of course a balance between what the public can and should pay compared to my rates. When I work in a social welfare capacity, I am not paid for my services. Think about your own words and what others have explained to you.Recommend

  • ali

    1- Pay of a doctor is not up to the mark……Right
    2- Govt not taking action or paying attention to this issue…Right
    3- Doctors are human h…how could they work this much.. and pay is nothing…Right
    4- Pay a lot of money to become a doctor and nothing earn back…

    But

    1- Very noble profession and people become doctor for serving Nation… but patients died because of this strikes ….. where is the passion…. Doctors have issue with govt not with patients

    2- New doctors only studies and do house job in hospitals… most of them Play with the patients life …….No one bother it.. and they get experience by these jobs..

    3- The govt pay is not basic for doctors… They always try to bring patients in private clinics.So they have other source of income as well …Govt money doesn’t Matter…

    4- Doctors off early from hospitals and gives time to privates clinics ….

    Solution:

    1- Increase Doctors pay ..
    2- Doctors could not run private clinic other wise they will lose his/her medical certificate
    3- They will stick with the hospital and give all time to hospital…
    4- Pay will be increase Rank wise…. Experienced will get more then Trainee.
    5- All facilities will be provide to the doctors as they are serving nation……. Recommend

  • faraz
  • umar

    NOTHING is achieved without force in this country and how can u expect the highest educated people in the country live their life on 22 thousand rupees a month in which they have to raise their families too. Go Doctors and dont surrender. Even if some lives are lost, that is for a greater cause! Dont Back up till your demands are accepted.Recommend

  • dr yasir irshad

    @andrea:
    plz come back pakistan ..work here…its easy to pass any coment while staying abroad,,,in ur comfort zone…lolz…Recommend

  • dr yasir irshad

    @umar:
    very right umer bhai..Recommend

  • shahzad

    @ Author : I am afraid, you did not know about this issue. Pakistani doctors are very much aware of their profession’s need and they do serve it to the good ethical mark. You might have overlooked the incidence when they temporary called off the strike in DG khan and Multan, to treat the victims of attack on the mausoleum of Sakhi Sarware. We should support doctors, their pays should be raised, in the same way, as are raised for, teachers in higher education and professional working in defense organizations.Recommend

  • sha

    by strike docs ve proved what they work for patientts or money ..Recommend

  • andrea

    @dr yasir irshad: I’ll be there very soon and working again. Let’s see what you say to all the expatriates who come back regularly to work. Will you do the same with your subsidized education when you go abroad? Why are all the Indian medical doctors running away from India to go the West to study and practice medicine?Recommend

  • pakistani

    @umar..

    highest educated people in the country? i thot this blog was about young trainee doctors who are hardly graduates…

    @docs

    by your strike now i read the headlines “nawaz sharif health deteriorates due to doctors absence in hospital”, “Bilawal waited all day in hospital emergency without being treated due to doctors strike”, “K-P chief minister is in serious condition due to unavailability of young trainee doctors in hospitals”… hats off to you people… you deserved to be paid 70000 per month because of setting such high standards and ethics…Recommend

  • Rehman

    maria are you writing this article for serving readers with entertainement or for money?Recommend

  • http://lahore khalid ali

    @faraz:
    and all the Pakistani who are here in Pakistan are due to their inability to go abroad so no body should be respectedRecommend

  • Muhammad

    @fraz

    @ Pakistani

    I’m totall agreed with you. Recommend