A NUMBER of Pakistani doctors, who have been serving in government hospitals in Saudi Arabia for the last more than a decade, have been asked by the Saudi Ministry of Health to refund a substantial portion from the amounts paid to them as monthly emoluments.

This seems to be highly unjustified. The new contractual salary has also been slashed drastically. Contracts are being renewed at lower salary subject to the condition that the incumbent doctor will pay the previous amount conveyed to them individually.

The amount to be refunded is based on individual salaries and ranges from 50,000 to 200,000 Saudi riyals, which the overseas doctors cannot afford to pay, as they do not have any significant savings in Saudi Arabia. As is known to all, they remit their salaries to Pakistan to maintain their families.

In view of the foregoing factual position, the government as well as all the authorities concerned in Saudi Arabia should look into the matter on humanitarian grounds and rescue Pakistani doctors who are in desperate need for their help and assistance.

The doctors are neither allowed to leave the country nor are they allowed to continue their jobs on previously agreed remunerations.

They were given salaries and allowances as per the policy of the Ministry of Health, and any annual increase given in their salaries was in line with the policy of the ministry at the time.

Khawaja Tajammul Hussain
Karachi

Published in Dawn, August 5th, 2022

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