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Why are the doctors out on the streets?

Published Jul 01, 2012 08:29am


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Young doctors protesting outside the OPD of Gujranwala Hospital. – PPI photo

For the sake of full disclosure before saying anything on this topic, I want to state that I myself am a young doctor, working in a public sector hospital of Punjab. The following blog contains my view on the issue of the recent wave of protests by young doctors and I have tried to remain as balanced on this issue as I possible can.

The medical profession is considered to be a noble profession but doctors are back in the news, for all the wrong reasons. After the long strikes of last year which were caused by a deadlock between the government of Punjab (because there is no health minister since the last four years) and young doctors, things were supposed to be settled by now. The showdown from last year caused tragic incidents leading to numerous casualties due to intransigence of both parties. Last year, there were three basic issues of doctors which were an increased in the pay of post graduate trainees and medical officers, regularization of seats and the implementation of a proper service structure for doctors.

We all know that the health sector is given little importance in Pakistan’s power circles. As a result, the share of budget allocated for health purposes is less than two per cent of the total budget. Due to constant neglect by the government, the private sector has bloomed in our country. According to an estimate, about 80 per cent of doctors in Pakistan are working in the private sector. The issue of payments was resolved last year and the other two issues were supposed to be resolved by the formation of committees to deal with them. After one year and multiple committees, no solution has been finalised by the government of Punjab. As a result, the young doctors started boycotting the Outdoor Patient Departments (OPDs). It should be made clear that the indoor departments and emergencies (where serious and admitted patients are dealt with) are working full time in all public sector hospitals. The propaganda that patients are ‘dying’ is plainly wrong. The main problem this time is the demand for a service structure, similar to other public servants. A civil servant who passes the CSS exam gets promoted to the next pay scale in a maximum period of 10 years, while doctors do not have this opportunity. I have personally seen doctors who have served for more than 18 years and still remain in the same pay scale. Despite the order by Supreme Court of Pakistan in February 2012, no concrete steps have been taken to formulate a service structure.

At the hospital I work, patients are re-directed from OPDs to the emergency department where most of them are treated accordingly. There is no particular crisis as has been portrayed by the government. Recently, a misinformed campaign has been launched by the erstwhile Punjab government portraying doctors as ‘mercenaries’. I wish the amount of money paid for those front page advertisements was allocated for the package of doctors, but as it turns out, wishes are not horses. Sadly, the electronic media has largely played a negative role in this whole issue and they have tried to establish the establishment’s point of view in various talk shows and programs. After the leaked video scandal, we all know about the ‘integrity’ of our dear media personnel. The same media that tries to strike a rebellious stance in different matters, turns into the devil’s advocate in this one.

Orders have been issued by the health department that leaves of all doctors are being cancelled and anyone who does not perform their duties will be arrested. Doctors from the Army Medical Corps are also being deployed at government hospitals. This heavy handedness and constant negligent behaviour will serve the public no good. According to sources in the Young Doctors Association, the government is planning to privatize the health sector and that is why they are reluctant to reach a solution with the doctors. Mr. Shahbaz Sharif is not willing to decrease the number of his protocol cars or to spend some of the public money on public servants but is happy dishing out money on useless projects such as the Laptop Scheme (Punjab's Over Draft limit was Rs.27 billion and the Punjab government spent almost 40 per cent of the OD sanctioned by the State Bank of Pakistan to Punjab on giving away laptops), the Muslim Town overhead bridge or the Sasti Roti scheme (authorities in Punjab scrapped the Sasti Roti scheme after the Rs.7.85 billion loan debt accrued from commercial banks was left unpaid by the food department owing to non-provision of funds earmarked in the financial years 2009-10 and 2010-11) or his own publicity (an amount of Rs.80 million was spent just on the publicity campaign initiated under the Khadim-e-Ala government). According to the government figures from 2005, it spends 5 lacs on a single medical student in five years. Two days ago, a ‘senior official’ in the Punjab Health Department cited the figure of 2 million. Another juxtaposition of facts to suit their stance.

Matters are getting worse and worse. Thousands of doctors have left Pakistan because of lack of facilities and money. Eight out of 10 new doctors want to leave the country and pursue greener pastures because of the behaviour of government towards the health sector. Something needs to be done and it has to be done fast because young doctors cannot be coerced or tamed by using power tactics. The only people that are actually suffering in this fight are the poor patients who cannot afford private health care and have no option but to depend on government hospitals for treatment. An early resolution of this mess will benefit those poor patients and they should be the priority of both the government and the young doctors.

The writer is a medical student with an interest in History, Political Economy and Literature and blogs here. You can follow him @abdulmajeedabid.

The views expressed by this blogger and in the following reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of the Dawn Media Group.


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The writer is a medical student with an interest in History, Political Economy and Literature. He blogs here.

You can follow him @abdulmajeedabid.

The views expressed by this writer and commenters below do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of the Dawn Media Group.

Comments (190) Closed

Shuaib Jul 03, 2012 11:59am
@Jan. I wrote that docs in US are respected cause they work under the system. All my point is they won't just go on strike again and again to pressurize their employer and bring havoc in the country. Where seniors are ready to help "Petti Bhai", there would not be any licence cancellation. In such situation demanding/snatching/expecting "respect" is something dreaming. Jan, please go through the post of Abdus salam and then my post to have better understanding. RESPECT IS EARNED, NOT SNATCHED!!!!
shamim ahmad Jul 01, 2012 12:04pm
THEY are doing every thing for money how they can refuse salary.
Rashid waheed. Jul 01, 2012 05:45pm
Those who are not doctors should atleast sit in an OPD of a government hospital in any province of pakistan for observation or manage the admitted patients in the hospital on the day of OPD before commenting on doctors on their nobility and professionalism.Similar advice is given to the doctors who are practicing medicine in some foreign country as UK as patients here in Pakistan are mostly iletrate and very difficult to deal. Of course every young doctor enter the practical line with great zeal of serving the poor patients but gets disappointed soon because of extreme hard work,full of great responsibility but still with no reward.This definitely results in frustration and even more frustration when life as a medical student is recalled as so much studies and hard work seem useless at the end of the day.I am with Abdul.well done junior...
FARAZ Jul 01, 2012 11:19am
The striking doctors does not deserve any support, they are now source of killing to those innocent taxpayers who were source of their MBBS degree from public medical colleges. I would rather call YDA " Young Drecolla Association ) who are now blood thirsty on regular bases, last year these doctors played havoc with the lives of innocent patients who can not afford to visit private medical treatement. They want huge pay in Public Sector but would insert more energies in private medical hospitals. I salute Pakistan Army for helping the poor patients in this time of crises and must appreciate the action of Punjab Govt,
khan Jul 02, 2012 08:49am
patient dont die in OPD i am pretty sure that patients atleast are not dying but yes its a big trouble otherwise. emergency is till open anyway lastly its possible that media channel are actually saying is true in sense that there are many terminal patients in hospital that die in wards in such large hospitals as ours
Shuaib Jul 02, 2012 12:32pm
Mr. Abdul Majeed Abid sahib, why do not you propose the Government to meet your demands and in return all the doctors will return all the subsidies incured on their education and grooming, at the current price, which can be calculated by an actuarial accountant. If you think that you are being deprived of your right then it is right of the poor people to get their money back from you. Show some courage and announce it on the media; you are calling "devil's advocate".
Kaleem Jul 02, 2012 09:45am
OK, I have three simple questions: 1) So if your father, mother, sibling or any other relative comes to OPD and denied treatment, how will you feel? You'd Still justify this? 2) Why didnt you choose to move to courts for settlement of this case? 3) Don't you think that those spending years to become engineers, software developers, MBA's are as intelligent as doctors? do they get the same amount if they join govt organizations?
Shuaib Jul 02, 2012 07:51am
Absolutely wrong like your all perception. A total of 7 people have died since last night and you are one of the culprit.
tja Jul 01, 2012 04:56pm
So anyone who works for a living is a mercenary? all these young doctors are doing is asking for improvement in their working conditions like other civil servants (let alone the army!). They are not missionaries, they have needs and families to support just like the rest of us.
Awais Khan Jul 01, 2012 08:39am
Absolutely agree with the article! This is the accurate information for those who are raising hue and cry and don't know the reality.
raza Jul 01, 2012 11:26am
i am a doctor and i know only one thing... that refusing to see a patient is a direct and unconditional breach of the oath that all doctors take when they come to this 'noble' profession... its funny how the nobility and philanthropy of the professionals goes down the drain when it comes to how much we earn compared to others... it shows that we as a nation can get literate but we can never get educated...
imran Jul 01, 2012 08:57am
If 80 percent is private sector why rest of 20 percent is not private.Why these young doctors dont go in private sector obviously there is more money probably not good for their CV.Punjab government is good--NOT!
Syed Jul 01, 2012 09:29pm
If the educated ones are on roads, wonder what less educated would be feeling, but then Govt. does not respect it's people, is that hard to understand?
A Ali Jul 01, 2012 06:42pm
do u know how many patients die in hospitals every day...i m a student n get to work in emergencies for a few hours a week. and i witness 2 to 3 deaths each time. this definitely does not undermine the value of a life lost but before fingers are raised we should really have anual mortality figures of hospitals before and after the OPD strike and if the difference is significant then we work on assigning the blame
Inder Kishan Jul 03, 2012 07:11am
In my opinion, these young doctors apply for college admission and jobs on rural area seats but do not want to be posted to the same area once on job. Isn't this disloyal approach towards the profession ?
Yasir Jul 01, 2012 04:41pm
You need to stop reading novels about professional nobility and take real life seriously. This article is not about noble professionalism, it is about fair deposition of assets. i cannot believe that people here are backing the government!! more than the would rather see your doctors leave the country and open resources -" free the government departments of money " so YOUR government can pocket more money, buy more cars and build mansions in foreign land. BRAVO Mr. are a true scholar.
Kaleem Jul 02, 2012 09:55am
"Eight out of 10 new doctors want to leave the country" Infact 10 out of 10 pakistanis want to leave the country for better jobs :) If you want to leave for better perks, dont blame the govt atleast. I
Abdul Jul 01, 2012 12:38pm
and demanding about rights of doctors is also a breach of the Hippocratic Oath? Philanthropy and Professionalism can not pay our bills.
shahzad Jul 03, 2012 07:35am
These doctors are greedy and self thinkers, caring for their own cause, no respect for humanity and care for the impact of their strike action on normal human beings. Shameless.
farhanshahidkhan Jul 01, 2012 12:37pm
I don't know from where these docs have developed notions that they work hardest in their careers. I have worked as engineer consistently 12-18 hours every day and frequently including weekends for last 10 years. I am paid simple basic salary of grade 18. No Non practice allowance etc etc and special medical allowance. These docs are otherwise getting double the salaries compared to their counter parts. And all of them are those who have failed to pass PLAB/USMLE/AMC etc and therefore are frustrated at not making top dollars and now are blackmailing the country to pay them. Shame on them and their value system
Abdul Jul 01, 2012 12:35pm
I do not know which channel are you watching but I have mentioned in the article and want to reiterate that EMERGENCIES are not closed. Serious patients are being treated 24 hours a day in govt hospitals.!!! I have spent most of my life in or around hospitals and I have NEVER seen a patient die in an OPD(which has been closed by doctors).!! Lets get factual here, innit.
Sal Jul 01, 2012 07:16pm
"The following blog contains my view on the issue of the recent wave of protests by young doctors and I have tried to remain as balanced on this issue as I possible can" Hahahaha.... Are you really balanced my friend... You r a party, dont make false claims..
aih Jul 01, 2012 07:05pm
I am a doctor working in UK for past 7 years. I find it very surprising, the assumptions some of the commentators have made. First to its ridiculous to compare working as a junior doctor working in UK to working as a junior doctor in Pakistan. The pay of a doctor in UK is much higher than what doctors are paid in pakistan. Its very easy to criticise when one's stomach is full and their bank accounts are filled up. Lets be honest, thats why most of the doctors are here in the first place. I would admit accountability is much more in UK but that is not the issue here. I read one comment about about revalidation in UK. Again please be clear that this is something that is going to be introduced and not in effect as yet.In fact on June 21st an industrial action ( short of strike )was called by the British Medical association. The way this happened was that doctors participating in Industrial Action were asked to postpone any regular work (OPD) and only respond to emergencies. This was called because of pension changes proposed by the government which were not what had initially been agreed with the doctors. There is a possibility of more strikes to come. To some extent this is what doctors are doing in Pakistan. Yes I agree medicine is supposed to be a noble profession but again for those people who think doctors can survive on air, reality check, at the end of the day, people deserve to be paid for the amount of hard work they have done. This is the same whether you look at lawyers, accountants, etc. For people who suggest that if doctors are unhappy, they should resign rather than standing up for their rights, If this was the norm no one would stand up for anything. Were the UK doctors blackmailing as well then?... Lastly for people who comment because of what they hear in the media, please look at both sides of the story and please remember media will only make money if it sells stories and what better way to do it than feeding on people's emotions. I would like to praise the writer of this blog to atleast trying to clarifying the real situation.
Ghazi Sayyed Jul 01, 2012 08:43am
Well i would comment that in UK it once happened that there started clashes between railways employees and the government on the same issue which punjab and the doctors have today. instead of launching the strike, they asked for help from postal deptt. who protested for railways. If these doctors think they are gods , they are wrong. there are doctors who cant see somebody in pain, they cant do their kjob for ,money, but thats not the problem. the problem is our envoirnment. since childhood our parents tell us to become a doctor or engineer, the reason is that u would be earning more. since that time we are taught to become money machines. then y doctors are called messiah or nobles. they get money for what they do. its not a noble profession rather than it was. these are mercenaries.
Muhib sarohi Jul 01, 2012 02:32pm
Bringing army personnel in army dress is not good because people will feel there is a war going on....It would do more harm than good
tja Jul 01, 2012 05:02pm
If you are a doctor in the UK you are earning a decent salary with benefits and security already and should know the answer to the question you have raised: "will increased pay stop doctors etc etc - " I just wonder if you would like to work under the conditions these young doctors are only trying to improve!
Khattak Jul 01, 2012 04:03pm
These doctors have forgot their duties. Money is important for almost everyone in the world. However, being doctor they have more responsibilities than other professionals. These doctors are charging minimum Rs.500 per patient in their private clinics, making an average of Rs.500,000 per month which is one the best pay scales in not only Pakistan but around the world. I would suggest Punjab Govt to sack these doctors and start recruiting new staff. This so called YDA mafia is creating huge problems for less fortunate people of Pakistan.
Shuaib Jul 02, 2012 09:25am
Yeh, we now quite well understand "democracy" !!!!
Wajid Quetta Jul 01, 2012 04:20pm
It is narrated by my colleague that DOcs in Britain wanted to have their demand met by the Govt. the only way lift was a Strike. But they did not go on strike themselves. they as the ROyal postal SErvice to OBservr STrike for the Docs.As refusing medical aid is unthinkable in civilized society.DOcs in PUnjab are I think inhuman. They should be dismissed and blacklisted
@waseemabbasi007 Jul 02, 2012 08:10am
Cant agree more with you..This is not balalnced at all...Its like a press release of YDA. In the start article says poor people are not suffering as emergencies are the end it says govt should accpet YDA demands to end people's suffering..self-contradictory.. These doctors are not campiagning for nurses, paramedics or poor people..They just want more money..Is there any doctor dying of hunger or anything:-( ____
talha Jul 02, 2012 08:12am
Your argument and your desires might seem totally justified to you but doing a strike is not the way. Your services fall in a special category where you cannot strike otherwise the machinery of the nation/state falls apart. Doctors have been showing utterly low character and dignity in all this. I am not even talking about desires yet.Thats a totally different subject. Why do you think that doctors should be hired in grade 18 into government offices? Are doctors some special creatures who deserve a car and 18 grade right upon staring their jobs?
Mohammed Fazli Jul 02, 2012 01:05pm
I am with the doctors ! unlike police, government servants, politicians ...Doctors cannot earn illegal money by taxing a poor patient !!! let us be very practical..there may be misconduct but no corruption... Senior doctors make money by referring the patients to their clinics but not young doctors. Result: pay is too low to survive ...soon we will find the teachers on the road as well !
Fasih Siddiqui Jul 02, 2012 12:24pm
Though the demands of the YDA are legitimate, an alternative course of action should have been employed. The extremely unfortunate loss of lives has not only skewed public opinion against us and tarnished our image (us being doctors), it has also diverted attention from our demands. However, CM Shahbaz should not be hailed as a hero of any sort for his obstinate behavior. He is equally responsible for the discomfort and death of the patients. Overworked and underpaid doctors require some respite
Sohail Jul 02, 2012 08:18am
How many of the YDAs would recommend their loved ones to go to a Public Hospital?
Faizi Jul 02, 2012 01:36pm
pretty biased
kausar Jul 02, 2012 08:20am
only becoz of their materialistic cause poor people are suffering.what about the patients who loss their lives?,plez doctors treat them as your loved ones.
Crocs Jul 02, 2012 02:52pm
Balanced like the fox news ;), right Mr Abdul?
Basma Jul 02, 2012 08:21am
Just because they're providing a 'noble' service doesn't mean they sacrifice themselves in order to provide healthcare. It's a profession, just like all the others. They deserve to get paid. And since people like you rank it so highly, it's only apropos that they get paid in the same manner.
M.Saeed Jul 02, 2012 08:22am
You really need to work in a Pakistani government hospital before you start making any judgements. Pakistan does not even have a health minister! To further point out our incredulity, no doctors or nurses are allowed to enter the health ministry! I am not sure about the situation in UK, but I am sure all the doctors over here would love to be accountable and morally conscious if they too were working alongside you.
Ali Jul 02, 2012 08:25am
I pay taxes, and yes I am that working class who bears the burden of taxation, but when I visit (by any chance, not choice) any state-run health facility, I feel like my tax money is going in drain. I live in Khi, so can't be certain about Punjab situation but the Health is no doubt the governments priority here. Working conditions or ward conditions - neglect is what I witness. Govt faults: Low budget for health, no priority and check for the improvement of health facilities. Docs fault: Mismanagement of Allocated budget, pharmaceuticals driven medication. Where do young docs stand in this scenario...?
Basma Jul 02, 2012 08:26am
It's one thing to be confident of your own life decisions, it's another thing to be condescending of someone else's. You don't know how many bills they have to pay or how much debt they may be under. Not everyone has the luxury or mindset to go into a field of their choice and be patient while they pay their dues. Think twice before speaking so haughtily in regards to someone's life decisions again.
Crocs Jul 02, 2012 02:47pm
Better than having doctors with no morals.
Crocs Jul 02, 2012 02:46pm
Buddy, I am currently managing more than 50 resources In my team and hire young grads regularly in one of the top telco companies in Pakistan. And we hire them at a flat Rs 30K contractual (with no medical or other benefits). And people in my team are getting less than 48k with more than 4 years of work experience. So your "facts" needs to be revalidated. Doctors in Punjab are still getting more than what my team members with double work experience gets (and I am talking about grads from FAST, LUMS, NUST etc). So please stop whining like a brat who did not get his favorite candy, and "earn" your respect instead. Or study a bit more, clear the USMLE, and try to get to USA with dollars in your hand. But then again, if you had that much brain to clear those exams, you would have known how to register a decent protest ;) - no pun intended :)
Hilal Jul 02, 2012 08:39am
what a balanced article :)..u r kidding, this is no point that govt should stop sasti roti and other schemes to start feeding you . They should do others things correct as well, about you guys there is no way doc can be recruited to 18 grade directly. You have right to raise you slogans and ask for equitable promotions but this is no way of achieving these ends.
mustafa Jul 02, 2012 08:37am
too far fetched...
Salman Jul 02, 2012 08:41am
All doctors who left Pakistan just to get better opportunities else where should not really be commenting here. Its a shame! The doctors who are in Pakistan deserve what they are demanding. Its plain Equality! If you think a civil servant works harder than a doctor or a school teacher, think again! Earlier this year it was the teachers who were protesting, now its the doctors who are at it. And nobility doesn't pay the doctors bills, only money does! But this time its all about equality in service structure! My dad retired at the highest post (BS-20) a doctor could achieve in one of the biggest government departments. Other Civil servants reach BS-21 in the same department. And remember there was only one Chief Medical Officer where as there were many other civil servants who reached BS-21. Service structure inequality is by far the largest problem right now. PS: I am not a doctor and i work in the private sector and i work 40 hours a week and I have lesser years of education as compared to a specialized doctor who has to work in pretty bad circumstances. And my pay is much more than that of the doctors!
Zeeshan Jul 02, 2012 08:45am
This news item ( from this newspaper nullifies the premise on which your moral argument stands. The doctors have now stopped working in indoor departments and emergency departments. This is a disgrace. You should be ashamed of yourself.
khan Jul 02, 2012 08:47am
its obvious you havnt worked..i am medical student and even though i am aginst these strikes, i know for a fact that a single doctor sees over 1000 patient in opd more than what a doctor in england sees in whole year even a common man knows that
Asad Shah Jul 03, 2012 04:08am
Abdul, I pay around Rs 50,000 income tax every month (deducted at source) so that people like you could get subsidized medical education in government medical colleges. Will you be kind enough to kindly return back my money first?
jan Jul 02, 2012 01:19pm
If i was underpaid and overworked like these i would be doing the same thing. and don't tell me you wont.
dr.amra Jul 03, 2012 01:11pm
mr. intelligent, be careful as your statement is very similar to the statement of our x-prime minister saying '' why dont they leave then ,who is stopping them''.as no jobs are available at all for doctors who complete their training, they have no option but to go abroad to earn bread for their families, if u have such jobs where u could pay handsomly to a doctor working for 3 consecutive days without rest then come forward and announce it. no doctor is goin to leave pakistan. i think u have got some education to understand it all , and i guess u wont have guts to work for 3 consecutive dayswithout rest when u r in habit of goin to office at 9 nd cming bak at 3 o,clok.u really dont know the meaning of hard work
Arman Hussain Jul 01, 2012 11:43am
I would like to ask the doctors Why not resigned from the jobs if they think that Pay scale is not good for them , is it not Blackmailing ? and those who are the part of the Protest they should not get the salary in which days they are on strike , is there any thinking or not ?
Abdul Jul 01, 2012 12:41pm
Mr shamim ahmad, most of the doctors working in govt hospitals are not working on a paid basis.!! Get our facts straight please. Plus these protests are not for MONEY.
karamba Jul 01, 2012 08:09pm
It is the fault of the health department as well as the doctors. No-one expects doctors to work for free but there should be a balance between productivity, pay scale, management, planning and accountability. It is the whole system that needs a revamp, not just the payscale. There is not a lot of sympathy simply because a lot of the doctors provide poor services and have no bed side manners. At the end of the day it is quality and not quantity of patients you see. The reason why doctors work there is because they get 2 incomes - tax payers and private for minimal labour.
Tom Parker Jul 01, 2012 10:21pm
Health and education have never been high on any government's agenda with only 1-2% of the budget allocations. I suggest that the government should sell all the health facilities to private sector and use that money to run income support programs and sasti roti schemes. After all food is more important than health.
Ahmed Hassaan Jul 03, 2012 02:29pm
Sorry Mr. Abdul but there is simply no way you can justify what the YDA is doing. This article is far from being balanced. I am a doctor myself and if you too have taken the Hippocratic Oath before entering the noble profession, it forbids you to deny patients treatment. Please don't make yourself feel better by saying you guys are only boycotting the OPDs. This is blatant disregard of your oath and ruining the image of this sacred profession.
Masud Zaidi Jul 03, 2012 05:38am
I agree with the writer. Doctors demands are genuine and these should be met. Government should reduce some of the unnecessary expenses and increase budget for health.
DR MUHAMMAD ASIM Jul 03, 2012 05:44am
whatever the issue is,it is no way a correct decision to stop serving poor people.the noble profession of medicine demands that all the issues should be solved by dialogue,not by sacrificing poor patients.the young doctors should behave in a decent way and must perform their jobs because when the spirit for serving the patient is replaced by that of gaining money,a doctor virtually negates his title.
Ayesha, Engineer Jul 03, 2012 05:53am
Please do not talk like this about your own Muslim brothers and sisters! :( Try and understand their needs too! We, as a Nation, are soo much frustrated from loadshedidng, CNG strikes, and Mehangai that life is getting miserable, no matter how harder we work! We dont need bridges, flyovers and ringroads! All we need is peace in this beautiful country and so in our homes, and by peace I mean, "At least some respect to Humanity" as we all are humans! our government is treating us worst then animals! It should better spend money on Power plants and Food growth sectors instead of flyovers and ringroads! We all know tht millions of ruppee are spend on advertising, if these money are spend on public like us, alot of betterment could be done!
The Student Jul 02, 2012 01:19pm
aoaaoa would like to make some observations on your article. patients 'dying' is a propaganda? and we are just supposed to take your word for it? i agree media is biased...but you have to prove it rather than just refer to 'leaked scandal'...otherwise people shouldnt believe anything in news papers and channels at all. you say patients ARE treated. again your word against what? what is your secondary source besides the media? which people can you quote from the ground that can be verified independently by everyone? i would like to post a marvelous comment to those who haven't read the entire thread of comments: "i am a doctor and i know only one thing... that refusing to see a patient is a direct and unconditional breach of the oath that all doctors take when they come to this 'noble' profession... its funny how the nobility and philanthropy of the professionals goes down the drain when it comes to how much we earn compared to others... it shows that we as a nation can get literate but we can never get educated..." by raza. what is the solution? - get back to work. - document your demands and what the govt did about it alongside verifiable proof and then distribute it to the media and all over the internet. - keep voicing your demands through blogging and peaceful protests. (p.s i agree to your demands) If everybody started acting like you the world would be in shambles. thousands of muslims slaughtered in burma in past few weeks. should we resort to extreme measures with the burmese embassy in pakistan? is this what 'education' has taught you? think about the patients who are dying and who are not attended to. on Qiyamah you will be accountable for that.
anonymous Jul 03, 2012 06:27am
Hailing from KPK i would like to add that a complete strike in KPK is being proposed and in the next 1-2 days there will be a total OPD strike
Medical Jul 03, 2012 12:50pm
I think in end Doctor should come to work and work for the man kind not for the money and discuss every thing on table.
Ashfaque Qureshhi Jul 03, 2012 07:04am
They are getting much more salary than any another province of country,s till they are not satisfied, they should be fired immediately and new recruitment should be made of doctors from other provinces which will teach greater lesson to such doctors. Many innocent and poor people lost their lives due to their strikes.
shafiq Jul 03, 2012 07:02am
S.Rahman Jul 01, 2012 11:40pm
why did you leave the country, at first place? its always monetary issue! be a man a accept that who are staying back and working in the condition pakistani hospitals have, they are much better than us who have left the country! its easy to comment when you have your pay cheque coming regularly! I have worked in Pakistan, UK and now in Australia, and everyday I feel sorry for my friends who are stuck in Pakistan and don't have the opportunity to go abroad! Your insensitivity is just too much too handle!
T Ahmed Jul 01, 2012 11:37pm
Thirty years ago, when the air traffic controllers in the US tried to coerce the government into increasing their salaries, President Reagan took a firm stand against them by bringing in military air traffic controllers to allow airlines to keep functioning. This is considered to be a historic step. It is refreshing to see the Panjab Government take a similar principled stand against this obvious lawlessness on the part of the doctors, and to back it up with creative thinking by bringing in military doctors to continue providing medical attention to patients. What the Young Doctors Association conveniently ignores is that these doctors new the terms and conditions when they applied for these jobs - so what they are seeking is not their "rights", but to coerce the government into changing the terms of the contract.
hayat Jul 02, 2012 11:39am
agreed BUT denying to see and treat patients is much more worse crime then the crimes of govt of Punjab, its against the oath of your profession.... if the media is turning against doctors, its because of the treatment they are giving to the people, and all the govt hospitals are full of poor and helpless people... i know doctors are immune to all these situations in OPDs and emergencies but a needy patient is not immune, he only wants a treatment. Its a very noble profession, please please keep it the way it is.... put yourself in those poor patient's shoes who's monthly incomes are not even half of your monthly salaries.
Umer Jul 03, 2012 05:24pm
The greediness of the young doctors is clearly evident here by the demands they are making. Fresh out of medical training, still wet behind the ears and they want Grade 18?? Had they started by demanding an increase in the Federal and Provincial Medical budget and upgrades to the Civil Medical facilities and working conditions, then majority of the nation would have welcomed them and joined hands with them. The YDA's approach to the the issue is very immature and extremely selfish. The Doctors who want to leave the country will do so regardless of the working conditions and pay scale. For them the grass will always be greener on the other side and the blue passport is much prettier for them compared to the green one!!
Azhar Jul 02, 2012 07:26pm
Mind blowing..Hats off to u..
Lodhi Jul 02, 2012 07:46pm
You are comparing apples with oranges. A doctor has different duties than a civil servant. There are different sections in the society and they get different compensation based on economics and other factors. Now you say that they should get salaries equal to civil servants, tomorrow you will demand that they get salaries equal to software engineers and the day later you will demand that they get salaries equal to bankers!! If hard work is the criteria to get more salary then what about the poor laborers who work so hard in the scorching sun and still get a paltry compensation. Should they rise and demand a salary equal to doctors as well??
guest001 Jul 02, 2012 08:43pm
dear now whole pakistani medical community on strike!
guest001 Jul 02, 2012 08:55pm
u are so absolutely right !!!
Dude Jul 02, 2012 09:07pm
"8 out of 10 Doctors wants to leave the country". Well they dont accept your degrees in the west. There is a big difference in want to leave and can leave. The ones are capable of leaving have left. It is not just 8 out of 10 doctors want to leave Pakistan Actually it is 8 out of 10 Pakistanis want to leave the country and this kind of strikes are one of the big contributers to this behaviour of the Pakistanis. There are other ways to achieve the objective other than letting people die on the door steps of a hospital because the young doctors wants more money. for example take the govt to court ETC.
Syed Jul 02, 2012 09:35pm
Agree. I am a mining engineer in australia, but when I go places, people ask me if I am doctor and I ask why they think so? and they say "well most pakistanis are doctors here", this tells you how many have moved for better life, where india is bringing back it's people and providing them better incentives to work in india, pakistan govt. is hell bent on doing the reverse.
bilal Jul 03, 2012 09:18am
nice to see pakistanies quareling amongst themselves, keep it up. the basic problem is instead of uniting to tackle or overcome an obstical we make it a point scoring game. we deserve everything we r getting
jan Jul 02, 2012 01:14pm
@shuaib It's not the doctors who make the justice system works. It the government that makes the laws an enforce them. So i think Punjab government is the one to blame not the doctors. You know that even in USA if doctors can get away with things they would definitely do a lot of louzy decisions. But in US they know that uncle sam will come after than and that is why doctors always cover their rears. You cant say that in US doctors are more caring than here.
Muhammad Naeem Jul 03, 2012 02:11am
Aoa, I am an Engineer and at the age of 51. I know what is being done with young doctors. It is basically what their seniors want. They are using them, as when they go to the private hospital during duty hours where he is supposed to sit and see the Poor patients. These young doctors always say to their seniors SIR NO WORRY I WILL HANDLE IT, when he comes back and ask about if any one asked about him, the young doctor says SIR I RUN A FILM. It is the Senior doctors who never sit in their offices. I always pray to Allah that let me keep aways from Doctors, Police and Laywers. They are the richest people in the society and they manuver the society acording to their wishes. They take share out of Medicine companies and simple recomend the medicine without finding out that is it required for the patient. You simple get the side affects and it is new source of income for doctor and pharmacy. Sit in the shoes of patients and then decide!
zeal Jul 03, 2012 02:37am
can anyone give me the answer,,, what is the fault of the innocent baby lying in ICU and dying ..... wo kasy jan skty hn , agr un ka koi apna is halat ma hota to na..... what is his fault... they think they can get more money by killing people, they think they give life to people.. but they are wrong.. zruri to ni ka dolat insan ko sakun dy py,, bachoo us waqt sy jb kisi ka ansun, aur dukh aur badua ap ke zindagi barbad kr dy gy........ a victim
Aamir Jul 02, 2012 12:48pm
Why doctors cannot protest meanwhile if lawyers protest and keep the courts and justice suspended that alright?
Ali Jul 04, 2012 07:39am
In Pakistan, PM&DC renews doctors' license every 3 years. You can verify yourself. Don't talk on something you don't know
Dr Abdul Shakoor Jul 01, 2012 12:19pm
My friend Abdul Majeed Abid, I've read this article and undoubtedly there is no any flaw seen in your demands. But my friend now I'm living in Manchester and I've worked for more than sixteen years back home in health department but you know the main obstacles in our demands to be fulfilled are our own doctors. I really appreciate the work done by the young doctors because no body could understand our genuine problems by holding placards or calm processes as held in western countries. It is a time for our politicians to realise the real truth that even Masihas need food, water, shelter to survive we can not live like people with white collars and empty stomach. Doctors also need free health care, free education for their children and above all their service structure like others. What's the problem with government to realise the essential need of doctors. Finally, I'd like to tell you that the main culprits you would realise sooner or latter might be your friends doctors. It's my personal experience and I'll prayer for young doctors to achieve their targets because these are their actual rights.
Engineer Arif Jul 02, 2012 08:57am
Dear Author Dont put lame excuses. I know how much a doctor cost when he is studying in private medical colleges. Its the nation who is paying for you future and you are playing with them. shame on you I am an engineer and knows the salary structure of an engineer. Engineers are hired on just 7-10K as trainees but you doctors are getting 40K and still crying. you doctors do private job also which engineers r not allowed accountability of doctors needed to be done inorder to avoid such kind of incidents in future.
Shuaib Jul 02, 2012 07:46am
So you graduated from govt college. Would you please tell, how much education related debt you are carrying. Its a big NIL. The cuase is that all those poor people, you are denying treatment, have contributed in making you a doctor.
Dr. Hassan Zubair Jul 01, 2012 03:01pm
Abdul Great work for the ryt cause .
Lodhi Jul 01, 2012 09:15pm
@Abdul, So are the doctors working without any compensation??
shamim ahmad Jul 01, 2012 12:29pm
If a medical student spends 3-4 million Rs to get a medical degree in private collages.after getting job he want to get this money back at his earliest .most of the doctors in front row of protest are private collage or foreign qualified doctors.
asif Jul 02, 2012 01:11pm
shahid Jul 02, 2012 11:43am
Do you hope to do an ' operation clean up' and get angels who would work instead of current ' evil' doctors , these angels wont have any human feelings and needs? This is non sense to say the least. There are questions about the ethics of this srtike, no doubt patients should not suffer but you should not come of with these knee jerk solutions. if you hire a whole bunch of ' kin hearted doctors' today ( hiring them would be one problem) they will have same problems to face and they will be on strike in no time. You need to solve the problems , not get rid of those who highlight these problems.
Dr Imran Ahmed Jul 01, 2012 06:38pm
What a question! They are people who are protesting unfair working conditions, it is their democratic right.
Dr Imran Ahmed Jul 01, 2012 06:41pm
I am a senior doctor. I graduated from K.E., worked in a government sector rife with nepotism, pay too low to compare lifestyles with my less clever schoolmates who were now District Commisioners and Majors, no prospect of significant improvement.
Malik Adeel Imtiaz Jul 02, 2012 11:43am
And you remember what our X PM said on this ....{Who is stoping them....}
Dr Imran Ahmed Jul 01, 2012 06:36pm
I am a senior doctor. I graduated from K.E., worked in a government sector rife with nepotism, pay too low to compare lifestyles with my less clever schoolmates who were now District Commisioners and Majors, no prospect of significant improvement. I left for "greener pastures" in 1982, worked for the U.K. NHS for 27 years rapidly improving my training, qualifications, salary and status and attaining seniority. On my return after early voluntary retirement I am saddened to see the young doctors of today still facing the same easily remediable unfair obstacles that made me leave. We have numerous excellent models to choose from for training eager young doctors and to give them a fair career structure yet no one least of all senior doctors or bureaucrats appear willing to help out.
Pakistani Jul 01, 2012 06:32pm
Demanding about rights ? For God's sake ,Letting sick people and children die next to you .....because you are demanding a hike to an already exorbitant paycheck of 50,000 to 100,000 ????? This only happens in a remorseless society of ours ....pity and sick .
asif Jul 02, 2012 01:08pm
my dear here doctors do the specialization called fcps biggest in pakistan but still they have to work in the same cader u never know the duty hours ,salary etc
Shuaib Jul 02, 2012 09:22am
In USA, you are respected because you earned respect. We have seen cancellation of licence of Michele Jackson's doctor. Is not there any YDA??????? Why doctors not went on strikes in USA and for that matter UK (where postal service went on strike on behalf of doctors). Surely, doctors would be respected there. Whereas, in Pakistan, in the history, I have not heard of a single licence cancellation of the doctors. Some two/three years back a young girl died of over dosing of anesthesia in doctors' hospital in Lahore, and there are as well other casualities too, but we have not heard of any licence cancellation!!! So what respect????.
S.Rahman Jul 01, 2012 11:54pm
As everything else in Pakistan this is just too sad and frustrating at the same time! I'm a doctor graduated from one of the best medical college in Karachi and work in both public and private hospital in Pakistan. The is situation is just too bad! We are suppose to work relentlessly and continuously without asking for pays! And what about this bullshit of "maseeha" its just crap! We have family with needs too, we have to feed ourselves and our kids too! We just can't fulfill our needs on "maseehai". I moved out of country just after 3 years of graduation and feel really bless to have moved out of that unjust and thankless system. Its been six years abroad and there isn't a day I feel sorry for my friends who are stuck in that bloody system! All the people who are accusing doctors are either not a doctors or have left the country and very conveniently have forgotten their time. If you don't stop this nonsense now, Pakistan will have to see the worst brain drain! We the the cream of our education system, we proved our intelligence through our grades and work and we need respect by the public and government! Those who are working abroad will testify that who good they are being payed for the hours they work. And at the end of the day its all about money, whether you accept it or not!
Benish Jul 03, 2012 08:16am
I totally agree with the writer. Medical profession is one with the highest salaries across the world and justified in bieng so as it requires extended time and experties. In our country, the least government can do is to regularize thier seats.
ADoc Jul 03, 2012 04:13pm
I'm a doctor living in the US, but I've spent some time in Pakistani government hospitals. I don't agree with strikes and I do feel I had to work my behind off to get certified in the US. However trust me, all this talk of ethics coming from Pakistani doctors abroad would disappear if they had to work in the same situation with the same reimbursement as the doctors in Pakistan do. Moreover, don't apply the British situation to Pakistan. Paramedics? This is Pakistan, what paramedics ? The workforce is not as diversified as it is in the West where they have Nurse Physicians and Physician Assistants as well. Its the residents and nurses who do all the work. In the villages, I agree, its the Wild wild West. And the fault there lies with the system and the politicians who don't fix it...
Agha Ata Jul 02, 2012 11:31am
Doctors and lawyers fall in the same category of educated people in Pakistan. So, if lawyers can come on the street, why can't the doctors?
farhanshahidkhan Jul 02, 2012 12:40am
Than what these protests are about Abdul? And being joblessness is in every profession. People pay for engineering degrees and stay jobless. Why docs are so special?
Karamba Jul 01, 2012 09:01am
Agreed the pay scale and regularisation is an issue but where is the accountability. I am a doctor in the UK and I am constantly accountable for my actions, from diagnosis to decision making to prescribing to time spent at work to patient and colleague feedback to annual appraisals to professional development etc. Will increased pay stop doctors from practicing privately where money is King. How much work do some of these doctor actually do? I agree with one thing, it is the patients that suffer in the end and the doctors should be grateful that they leave everything to the 'Will of Allah Al-Mighty'..
Adeel Khalid Jul 02, 2012 01:06pm
salman Jul 01, 2012 05:53pm
so come to emergency people die when there is no strike ,,,emergencies are open always ,,, masla ye hi k tum logo ka khuda media hai keh dia wohi theek hai
Karamba Jul 01, 2012 09:18am
For people who dont know, in the UK, doctors are now supposed to have a 'licence' to practice which only lasts for 5 years and is then only renewable based on performance. That licence is meant to give extra confidence to patients that their doctors are up to date and fit to practise and involves a series of checks to ensure there are no other concerns about that doctor. In Pakistan MBBS has become a blank cheque to cash in on whatever 'doctors' like with the illiterate patients resulting in their death or serious injury. How many here can say they have not heard of harrowing details of mismanagement of their dear and loved ones and the extortion by private hospitals?
Muhammad Jul 01, 2012 11:04am
All these protesting doctors took an oath right? So, the oath means anything? If one patient dies due to negligence of a doctor it becomes a criminal offense. Here, we are a whole gang of doctors in clear violation of their oath and complete negligence of the patients. Their shameless act brings disgrace to a noble profession. The federal and provincial government should cancel their degrees and that's it. They forgot their oath and they are not looking after the patients so they are useless anyway.
ysk Jul 01, 2012 09:21am
Agreed but please give even handed treatment to poor and rich...somehow whoever is asking for their rights stumps the poor people...and doctors are no different.
Rizwan Safdar Jul 01, 2012 09:37am
rightly balanced...! these doctors are KILLER too... THEY HAVE POLITICIZE THIS NOBLE PROFESSION.
hammadansari Jul 01, 2012 09:43am
I am no more supporting the doctors. Another patient died just few hour ago. If young doctors from Sindh, KPK, Balochistan have no problems, why this is problem with counterparts in Punjab.
Ali Jul 02, 2012 09:20am
Being a doctor myself, I absolutely despise everything that the writer and his so called 'brother in arms' stand for. It ashames me to be in the same category as these selfish people. Whatever happened to becoming a doctor to help humanity?? Absolutely pathetic and disgraceful! I always have and will refuse to be a part of such nonsense and continue working. I hope that all the people involved suffer serious professional repercussions!
Karamba Jul 01, 2012 01:59pm
Choose another profession and get another job
Jim Bo Jul 01, 2012 02:07pm
I'm a physician; yes and proud. Indeed my father coaxed me to become one, not for the pay-off but service to mankind. Whilst so, I have needs. For this I have to depend on the profession. As the passion dictated alligance to the Hippocratic oath, I had to earn to feed the family. Proudly I earned the trust of patients, who then afforded me the luxuries of this hardwork. Anything wrong with this? Why does society repeatedly expect the doctor to "sacrifice" his time and effort and not expect rewards in return? When this profession graced its nobility, it was because he did not expect return BEFORE performance of expectations, unlike any other profession. Thence his standing in society. Compare this deed to any other profession. Whether in private or public sector, doctors need respect of their time and efforts. THEN, remind him of his/her oaths.
Karamba Jul 01, 2012 01:44pm
Not only that, I will also say that senior doctors sit around like kings while the parmedics do most of the work including diagnosis, management etc since juniors dont have the experience. Infact in some areas the paramedics put themselves as doctors and are in cahoots with them in running private clinics playing with other peoples lives. The doctors are also involved in unethical practices by prescribing expensive drugs or investigations to poor people just for the sake of 'gifts' from pharmaceuticals or commisions from labs . After leaving med school majority are not upto date with knowledge and just learn from experience. How much more do you want to know? I agree I cannot generalise but people need to do some soul searching and change the health profession top to bottom and not just from financial aspect but the actual output, knowledge and accountability .
Ali Awab Jul 01, 2012 01:40pm
I have to disagree there sir. Only a few of them are getting regular salary, and secondly, money may come second but go ahead and ask a person belonging to any other profession to work for free for a single day. It's not a shopkeeper and customer relationship. Also, you should know that not a single person has been refused. They set an OPD table in the emergency room, just to pretend that the OPD is closed. First, please get authentic information before you say anything.
@waleedfarrukh Jul 02, 2012 06:41am
This article is not a true picture, quite contrary to the claim of it being unbiased. Doctors are acting like a new Mafia, like student or labour unions, or more like lawyer's activism (but not for the rule of law but for money). I always thought of it as a noble profession, or to expect them to at least act reasonable, but their continuous blackmailing for the last 3 years tells us only one thing that they have got the taste of getting their demands accepted with protests and strikes and once you get down on this road you are quite far from coming back in your senses.
mariam Jul 02, 2012 02:16pm
You are absolutely right!!!dunno why people do not take doctors as human beings who also have needs and have families to support!!
ujmalik Jul 02, 2012 07:28am
Seriously if working for Govt is this bad and you are such a good doctor, then call it quits and get to that HIGHLY PAID job! But for whatever you believe in's sake stop blackmailing Government by playing with lives of poor people! Do you all realise that only a poor needs to go to a Public hospital? People like me and you who can afford are already using these Private hospitals. Even these YD understand that in this country no one cries for a poor man!
Abdul Jul 02, 2012 07:27am
I am asking the same from Punjab Govt alina..
ujmalik Jul 02, 2012 07:24am
What about every other degree holder?
Abdul Jul 02, 2012 07:27am
I have said that 'I will try to remain balanced' I can not fathom your level of being 'balanced'
ujmalik Jul 02, 2012 07:23am
How many Engineering graduates get this much advantages in life like a Doctor?
ujmalik Jul 02, 2012 07:21am
If a doctor is working in Pakistan, they should compare themselves with the rest of the 180 million Pakistanis! How many of them are able to provide their children everything which these YD's demand? How come it is more of their right than anyone else?
ujmalik Jul 02, 2012 07:19am
And how is the fault of that poor man who has a medical condition which needs to be looked into?
Abdul Jul 02, 2012 07:20am
This is false propaganda. I graduated from a govt medical college, so did most of the members of YDA. There is no such divide as private/govt graduates. On the platform of YDA, there is proportional representation of medical institutes.
Abdul Jul 02, 2012 07:18am
So all you are proposing Sir, is that we should pass foreign exam and leave this country of ours for quacks? That would be good. No doctors, no Jhagra, No protests.
ujmalik Jul 02, 2012 07:15am
Why would you even stop seeing patients in OPD? First of all I have never seen petty issues coming to a Govt hospital, they are always people on their dying bed or in grave condition who are brought there. With you and your fellows denying them the decency of a general check up - your morality goes down the drain. And honestly I chose my profession (Engineering and then a Consultant) because it gave me pleasure. Money came along and I loved that. If it is so tough for some of the doctors who treat patients badly anyway, then perhaps it is a time for some soul searching and switching on to another career. Politics or Talk Show hosts probably!
ujmalik Jul 02, 2012 07:12am
Find another job!
Guest Jul 02, 2012 07:07am
I m a doctor and I do not agree with the blogger. There is no doubt that doctors should have a career structure but unfortunately the doctors who are protesting lack technichal capabilities to negotiate the matter with the authorities. Non of the protesting doctors are actually from this field rather all are clinicians and it is not clinicians job to negotiate health policy issues. The first step should be to redefine cadres and once it is redefined then the career restrusturing can be done by the management cadre of the doctors. There is no need to do such brutal protests which cause just sufferings!
TOXIC Jul 02, 2012 12:14pm
In every country including Pakistan a doctor is given a limited, renewable license to practise medicine. In Pakistan PMDC (Pakistan Medical and Dental Council) gives a renewable 5 years license. Your comment shows that most of the public in unaware of doctors issues.
Almanar Jul 02, 2012 07:06am
When a see the banners containing the letters YDA, all that comes to my mind is YADA YADA YADA.. while death and disease prevail.
Mariam Jul 02, 2012 02:13pm
Well said!!!!u have explained and clarified the matter in the best way!!!completely agree with u!!!! This is totally what the people of Pakistan need inorder to clarify their opinions regarding Doctors in Pakistan!!!
STA Jul 02, 2012 06:50am
The writer says the article is balanced... does not seem so !!!
Rana Asghar Jul 02, 2012 06:26am
Roots of the problem are in the fact that government has least priority for health. There is no private sector for health where young doctors can be employed. Private sector has jobs only for specialized consultants and nurses. For young doctors there is no job in private sector. We need to give an enabling environment to doctors and then gauge their performance and devotion to their profession. Two professions education and health should never be privatized. These two sectors should be the top priority of any govt. The two big worries of any person are the education and health of its children. For a nation to grow give it education and health.
JHK Jul 02, 2012 06:09am
Prescribing expensive drugs and/or ordering expensive tests to patients? I assume, you're not working as a physician in US.
mubasher Jul 02, 2012 12:00pm
why dont every body treat medical profession like all other professions. we, the doctors are also human being like all other people. for example if i say that i havnt entered this profession with the intension of serving the humanity then definatly i'm free of the obligation of true love of humanity. i should be treated like all other professions of this country. why DOCTORS are always BOUND to be MORALLY Blackmailed for life long in return of just putting Dr. in front of their names.... grow up people.
Lodhi Jul 02, 2012 06:00am
The author presented a feeble case, based on irrational arguments and false facts. He has done more to expose the wickedness of the doctors than help their cause. Are the conditions of their contracts not being met? They signed it in the first place, did they not. Then why protest? If you are not satisfied by the protest then leave the government job and find a job in private sector. Securing a job then blackmailing the employer is unethical and immoral if the employer is meeting all the conditions of employment agreed to at the time of appointment.
alina Jul 02, 2012 06:08am
where are the ethical values doc??????
Mubasher Abbas Jul 02, 2012 11:54am
kindly tell me which doctor is getting 60,000 salary in the begining of job? i have just done MBBS and started house job and i'm having a salary of 24000/=, keeping all the duty hours aside, my friends who have studied for 5 years in finance are getting start of 60-70000/= and me after 1 year of house job and passing FCPS part-1 exam, i will only be getting 42000/= for next 4 years of training. get your facts straight buddy.
Waqar Zubair Jul 02, 2012 05:56am
There is no excuse for black mailing the government by denying treatment to the poor by closing any service. I do not agree that this denial of service has not led to any casualties... How can you justify this step? Wasn't this the pay and service structure present when you decided to become a doctor? You knew what you were getting into... it is not as if the pay and/or service structure has deteriorated just overnight.. If you do not like the conditions of your employment, resign! If you are so noble at heart and it is not about money, start your own clinics for the poor or join the noble private hospitals serving the poor. Don't Doctors with service of 10+ years have private practices also? this way they can combine the best of both worlds make money and serve humanity at the same time!
Waqar Jul 02, 2012 11:51am
Engineers and other govt employees in other departments are facing the same problem. It is hard on everyone to meet both ends with Dollar on the verge of 100. But engineers cant blackmail govt because their profession is not that critical to human lives and doctors can so they are cashing in on this in rather a shameful way.
ana Jul 02, 2012 01:16pm
if most of the people who are reading this think they are balanced thinkers and unbiased, they should atleast try to know both sides of the story, instead of deciding on the wrong and untruthful picture presented by the govt. on electric media. The situation has cm to this crises because the govt has not once let the view point of the YDA be heard by the common man. And has constantly projected an extremely distorted image of the strike even when it had been peacefull and the life of NO patient had been at stake. All of the critical patients were being taken care of and the doctors would have continued to do so if the govt had not tried to supPress the young doctors by force. All the present crisis is of the govt making. They knew they could NEVER handle the situation but kept on presenting a rosy picture of new recruitments and army doctors coming to run all the departments "SMOOTHLY".
usman Jul 02, 2012 11:51am
I am a civil servant who have qualified this so called CSS exam and i can confirm that my pay is half of what a young doctor gets in a government hospital at the start of his career. Even if i will be jumping two more scales in 8 more years, i would still be getting less than what a young doctor earns today. Having said that i would still think that government is on the wrong side here. These young doctors deserve a career structure much like their CSS counterparts. They are, by no means less than those in the CSS alumni. Many CSS batches have been topped by doctors. Government even eliminated medicine related subjects from CSS but still they manage to score very good by taking arts subjects. They are the best minds of this society and deserve to be pampered. Otherwise, Punjab government will keep on training doctors and they will keep serving patients of other countries. The dilemma is that this society doesn't reward merit. When your best minds are choosing medicine as a career, the society should reserve best lifestyle for them.
@shahabmct Jul 02, 2012 11:10am
with due apology, youngsters were supposed to contribute towards nation and put their share as much as they can. May Allah guide us through right (Aameen)
SABIH Jul 02, 2012 05:24am
what about 6 years of study and housejob, already getting old, touching 25 when coming out of med school
Rehan Jul 02, 2012 05:31am
The decision to blacklist striking doctors was a very welcome one indeed !!! I hope they remain jobless long enough to learn a lesson !!!
Mishrab Jul 02, 2012 05:32am
Reality is very simple. They want salaries in equavalent to Doctors earn in US. Wondering, they all know that Government pay less but when Government annouce positions, they make long que to get the job in Government. Reason being they get great experience without any accountability. Just afetr passing MBBS they die for Government job. So i can advise those who are under graduation may need to apply for job in public sector as it pays low. What a big deal Docs ?
Abdus Salam Khan Jul 02, 2012 05:18am
Here in the USA where I now make my home, doctors are the most respected segment of society, and socially they are rated above all other professions. I am sure in Pakistan also the doctors, especially the young doctors, generally enjoy the trust,confidence and respect of the public. it is a shame that the goverfnment has come to a state of confrontation with them, instead of thrashing out the issues of service structure etc in a ciivilized manner.
Waqas Akram Jul 02, 2012 11:08am
@doctors who are complaining about the hardships and low pay in their profession: I think when we were growing up in 90s (I am 31 btw) we had to choose between Medical and Engineering. Everyone of us knew the pros and cons of being a doctor or engineer. However I DECIDED to become an engineer because I loved (and still love) mathematics. Although my parents WANTED me to become a doctor because they thought its earns more respect and duas of common people. Therefore those of you who have wilfully accepted medicine as their profession have no right to complain about the salaries because they knew, at least 90% of them, that how low the salaries are in Medical profession. Therefore your strike for the sake of pay raise has no ethical and moral grounds. Doctors have the right to make good living for them. No one is denying that. But this is not the correct way to earn that right. Having said that I totally agree with the other demands. Medical profession should be run by professional. Bureaucrats, who know nothing about medical profession, must be removed. There should be no political pressure on any doctor at any level. Doctors must be treated with respect and should not be harassed in case someone dies.
farhanshahidkhan Jul 02, 2012 05:12am
If there is less pay from government, you should resign and work in private. Simple demand and supply economics. But no! In your heart, you know that government is paying triple the salaries in private hospitals but you are still blackmailing government
Irfan Ahmad Jul 02, 2012 11:06am
Govt. is spending million of rupees on the education of doctors and this what they are paying back to the govt. Nice works by the doctors and they can only be countered by PUNJAB POLICE.
Faisal Jul 02, 2012 05:05am
For me the people most responsible are teh senior doctors who are at the helm of affairs at teh govt hospitals. The young doctors have come out on the streets because their seniors have not been able to provide them any assistance or a platform to address their greviances. They are the ones who make money out of medical profession through lucrative practices and they should be the one where the anger should be directed and not the punjab govt or the young doctors.
Chanda Mamo Jul 02, 2012 05:00am
I am sorry but this looks like a lame attempt to justify the strike. I think such people shouldn't have voice.
Sharique Jul 02, 2012 02:03pm
I am an engineer working in Munich... Nowhere in the world doctors work for free as they are angels... Doctors have the right to protest for their basic rights. If the general public feels that doctors should be back to the hospitals instead of the streets, then stand by them to get them their dua rights as soon as possible and get them back to hospitals. Happy doctors and happy patients. We should bring the profession back to its noble purpose (but not without doctors in comfort level). for Engineers.. please dont compare urself with doctors.. docs have 5 year of study + 1 year house job + no working hours.. emergency calls at nights.. sad fact.. engineers not being well paid at all in Pakistan (demand and supply issue )
ammar Jul 02, 2012 02:19pm
should i count this all as your justification for the people who died due to the absence of doctor . what if your loved ones are one of them? just answer my this question. The people here have one common problem. First at that time when they are jobless having degree in their hands they are ready to serve without any conditions . Ready to sign every type of contract for the sake of job. an when they get it after 2 months service they start producing demands , protests , conditions. what is this.
dr faiza Jul 02, 2012 10:56am
hahahaha 18 hours ONLY?:P i have just started my house job and i do 32 hours of duty on alternate husband is an mo and he often does 72 hours of duty continous.And about pay: we do not get pay of 18 scale,my salary is 23000 and after house job when my MO ship will start i will be a 17 grade officer n not 18.get your facts straight first,
Farhan Jul 02, 2012 04:10am
I support the doctors strike . They need to have incomes to support their families, pay bills and run their routine lives. They have families and needs as other people have. They have to see progress and hope. The salaries are simply not enough in this day of daily inflation. There is such a big drain of highly talented people. Doctors are forced to leave the country for greener pastures wheras most of them really want to live in their own country but circumstances force them to. Why can other governement servants enjoy cars, perks, residences and the doctors are expected to sacrifice in every manner. I think governement should improve service structure with good salaries and force senior consultants to serve in the hospitals, contribute to teaching and development in the infrastructure of medical training rather than allowing them to spend their time in private practises. Keep the struggle up Young Doctors. You should fight to get your right. The lawyers did it.
Doctor Jul 02, 2012 10:47am
and you knew every thing when gaduated medical college and was equally skilled ??? First tell why there had been a strike of doctors in UK
@musaddiqsk Jul 02, 2012 03:58am
Have we ever seen any doctor traveling on public transport? Have we ever? Have we? NEVER!!!!! whereas a lecturer and other officers of 17th grade and above in Education Department traveling on bicycles and buses in not and UNCOMMON scene. Doctors come on . CALL the strike off and go to your duties to fulfill the frequently chanted HIPPOCRATIC OATH.
Ali Jul 02, 2012 03:51am
Being noble is not someting just for doctors ( yeah the ones who took "The Oath" and have not been paid in ages). Who is stopping you from being noble. Why don't you forego your next pay check and the one after that and help the needy. You know what, I am not being very nice or reasonable here, am I. Go figure.
jan Jul 02, 2012 01:01pm
When you have to work 30 to 40 hours straight and get paid same. You dont even have enough money to buy a transportation. When you dont have enough money to pay your bills. When you dont have any peace or time to refresh your knowledge about the medicine. WHAT KIND OF VALUES YOU WILL BE STANDING UP FOR?
Musaddiq Farooq Jul 02, 2012 03:37am
This is the point. First of all, doctors in The Punjab province are being paid much more than their fellow doctors in other three provinces. And the most important thing is that, as Farhan Shahid mentioned, doctors, even in the beginning of their job, are getting more than Rs. 60,000. Compare with it the salary of a newly recruited lecturer in Higher Education Department, Rs.40,000/- So undoubtedly, their demands are not justified. NO DOUBT ABOUT IT!!!!!!!!!!
Ali Jul 02, 2012 03:38am
Karamba, I salute your hipocricy. You have told Dr Abdul to choose another profession and yet you live in the UK. I don't know about your personal issues but I really doubt that you are having a hard time trying to make ends meet. Since you are such a qualified doctor, why don't you go back to Pakistan and serve the people. And to others who constantly demonise the doctors, try living on Rs 10,000 -20000 after spending 5 years in a medical college. On a lighter note, there is a saying: when you pay peanuts, you get monkeys. So I suggest that since doctors are so evil and incompetent, never go to a doctor again. Note that I am not condoning the deplorable behavior of the few rotten apples who spoil the image of the hard working or at least well meaning doctors who are just trying to make a living.
Shahid Jul 02, 2012 03:32am
Doctor are in a very noble profession - serving the humanity. I have no problem standing for their rights - reasonable benefits. But, their professional and moral duties are very important and critical in saving lives of sick livings. They must perform their duties without any conditions. Pay, no-pay, not enough pay, hot, cold, sick - whatever is the conditions, they must take care of the patients - no strings attached.
Shujah Jul 02, 2012 10:36am
in UK Doctors are highly paid too bro
Noo-ul-Ain Jul 02, 2012 10:37am
i totally agree to Mr. Farhan......! i dun know y these ppl are thinkng so emotionally. everybody is looking into the negitive side but y ppl are not talking over the hectic routines.......??????? i think if all ppl talking against the strikes would ask to work for so long then there mouth will be shut and they would have nothing to say..!. if they're stood up for their legitmate claim then we should stand by them rather than criticizing them.......... look what are cruel government is doing witht eh cream of the society............
Awais Khan Jul 02, 2012 02:22am
Dont be impatient, that day is not far when ALL doctors will resign from their posts, the trouble is not only in one province but ALL ACROSS the country, its just a matter of time when this will spread. You know what they teach in medicine, when you have fever (high temperature), giving paracetamol will reduce the temperature but unless you FIND and TREAT the CAUSE of fever, it will come back. Unless the cause is resolved, it will only get worse.
doctorabroad Jul 02, 2012 01:51am
It is futile to try to put the blame of the situation on young doctors or the Punjab Government only. Young doctors are rightly frustrated because anyone who knows the way young doctors are treated in government hospitals also knows how deplorable and unfair the work environment is for these highly qualified professionals in Pakistan. I also agree that a strike is not the best way to protest because such a step forces the state machinery to respond to the situation as a law and order situation rather than a health policy issue. The main culprit here are senior doctors who have suffered through the same awful conditions in their early career but having overcome the hardships they don't fight or make any serious effort to change these unfair working conditions but rather propagate the same unfair system. Instead these seniors now blame the young doctors for demanding something which they would have wished in their early career. Health sector in Pakistan does not have a structure because the people at the top of this profession are largely spineless, selfish and corrupt. This general statement is not at all meant to disrespect the senior doctors, my teachers, and friends, who perform their jobs honestly and serve the patients in their various capacities in the health system. I would urge the senior doctors, particularly those with political connections, who are fortunately also the ones that are the leaders of the health system as principals of medical schools and MS of hospitals, to fight the cause of the young doctors. This can be done without strikes or hurting the patients but requires a serious policy solution to be worked out with the Punjab Government leadership. Yes, the same government that gives grade 21 and 22 to these senior doctors and helps them not to pay the right income tax on their enormous private practices.
m.nafis Jul 02, 2012 03:50am
the answer is that Almost all doctors receive kickbacks/ commissions from drug manufactures in the shape of cash, medicines, gifts, tours etc and prescribe medicines of that particular company in an agreed quantity irrespective of the fact whether it is necessary or not. thus they indulge in corrupt practices from day one. u need promotion so u get increased bribe to kill poor patient. u deserve to be jailed.
aaa Jul 01, 2012 10:58am
It seems quite obvious that you have never worked in a govt. hospital in Pakistan. How much do these docotors actually work? 1)Do you have any idea of the average number of patients dealt in one department in one day? Out door or indoor. I have worked both abroad and in Pakistan believe me what you are talking about has nothing to do with reality.
aaa Jul 01, 2012 10:46am
What i can say is that if you dont have any idea about what goes on in a govt. hospital please dont comment either. Just repeating what you once heard is not the solution to a problem. In govt. hospital there is minimal pay. PAY IS LOW in govt. hospitals is something noone is listening to. On the contrary everyone here is saying ''doctor are money grabers.'' It is not possible to grab money in a govt hospital the possibility does not exist.
shamim ahmad Jul 01, 2012 10:43am
If a medical student spends 3-4 million Rs to get a medical degree in private collages.after getting job he want to get this money back at his earliest .most of the doctors in front row of protest are private collage or foreign qualified doctors. they are all from upper middle or upper class .there in no child of a factory worker,a peon a small shopkeeper.these doctors need money up to there standard. where was this govt when talented poor student were refused admission due to low income of parents.students getting 85%marks do not get admission in punjab .and a rich student become a doctor with only 65%Govt saved the money from new collages now SELF SPONCERD DOCTORS will extract from poor patients.
Abdul Jul 01, 2012 10:20am
P.S Just when we thought it couldn’t get more ridiculous, a message from Zaid Hamid’s stooges posited a new conspiracy theory. According to that message, YDA punjab is actually “NGO funded Young Animal Association” and they work for money, not for saving lives. What it did not inform or wanted us to know was that Doctors of army that have been called to serve in public sector hospitals DO NOT work for free.!!! No one works for free because at the end of the day, saving lives does not pay your bills.
Noor Ahmed Jul 01, 2012 10:12am
There is no problem with the doctors in Punjab, its just planned by PML(N) to do something regarding it and improve vote bank in punjab.
Uza Syed Jul 01, 2012 08:15pm
Good for you---just let us know the number of hours you put in as SHO after all these years.
Imran Jul 01, 2012 10:01am
Denying treatment to the very poor who do not have other viable options is not consistent with the value system of any humane society. The doctors who work for the government did so by choice, and are free to leave for "greener pastures" if they so desire. Perhaps such "cleansing" is required to free the government departments of money grabbing doctors in favor of those who became doctors for true love of humanity. Many doctors use government facilities to get trained, acquire a reputation, and then open their own lucrative private practices, and many end up owning laboratories, clinics and even hospitals. So this "sad" song and dance does not play very well to an intelligent audience I am afraid.
Dr Aziz Jul 02, 2012 05:30pm
I am a Doctor .. And ALHAMDUALLAH i left Pakistan years back.... The doctors who want to leave Pakistan can contact me . Those who want to stuck there can enjoy beateing by attendents and police..
Vigilant Jul 02, 2012 10:13am
i am with doctors if strike is not about money. But doctors should considered the miseries of poor people who cannot afford costly treatment at private hospitals. Government must implement proper service structure as demanded by YDA and bureaucrats must removed from helms of healthcare departments. Healthcare departments must be headed by medical professionals not by some-one who passed some exam and don't know about healthcare. God i hate bureaucrats they ruined every institution. They should be no bureaucrats only technocrats.
Ahsan Jul 02, 2012 05:11pm
If doctors are too much complaining about their pays than whats the point of joining this profession which is considered to be life saver as we all know the problems might face in this profession??? Secondly what about world most cheapest medical education you get from government medical colleges with world's most finest professors, for same education private universities charge hell of money (around 25-30 lakhs)??? If they want easy life than pay for the full cost and than demand these kind of cruel things....
dr Amnahabbasi Jul 02, 2012 04:52pm
shafiq Jul 02, 2012 12:36pm
No one is interested in knowing the problems of these employees of the hospitals. If they have issues when the pay scales, grades, treatment they get from government then they all should resign and get jobs in the hospitals/countries those are willing to pay them GOOD. This type of blackmailing/terrorizing is not acceptable and should not be tolerated by any government. I am surprised why the government waited for 14 days and let around a dozen people die. I strongly recommend the government and the family members of the victims to file murder cases against all these doctors and also cancel their degrees.
Waqas Jul 02, 2012 04:01pm
Mr.Abdul do u have any justification about the people who died because of their protest i think so after those deaths they are not able to call humans govt should have hang all of the so called doctors till death.
AHMED Jul 03, 2012 09:03am
I am really shocked to see the death news of patients because of the strike by doctors.What is difference b/w a doctor and worker now? Of course I do admit that doctors' grievances must be addressed but it should not be at the cost of human life. Both the parties i.e,doctors and the Government should show flexibility in their attitude.The way the Khadim-e-ala's Police stormed the Hospitals in Lahore and at other places is condemnable as it is totally shameful .It was nothing but brutality on their part. Dear Doctors ! kindly reconsider your decision and call off the strike immediately and solve the problem by negotiation. .Allah will compensate you. Amen !
Umer Jul 05, 2012 10:26am
but they do earn 'on the side' by referring patients to their private clinics.
Rehan Ahmed Jul 09, 2012 09:38am
Nice comment fellows, I got just one question as this strike has ended now after 17 days, who is responsible for all the deaths during this period????
@draheer Jul 06, 2012 12:23pm
Well said
Uza Syed Jul 01, 2012 08:13pm
Just fire them, period. Let them find out their worth. Let them also see which foreign countries are standing a que and begging to hire them with their radical approach to negotiation and sense of their worth. Let them be out in their street and learn a lesson in humility hard way, they will wake up to reality fast, believe me.
Javaid Ishtiaq Jul 01, 2012 12:31pm
Further to my previous comment Where is the service structure for doctors. Ordinary registrar level doctors are working for last 15 years or so, without being promoted to assistant professor category (ONLY THOSE WITH INFLUENTIAL BACKGROUND WILL HAVE THE LUXURY TO BE MOVED INTO THE SPECIALIST RANGE, THIS IS NO SECRET). Why these senior doctors/PMDC/CPSP are not bothered about these issues? We all know the answer.
Javaid Ishtiaq Jul 01, 2012 12:30pm
I have worked in a government hospital in Lahore, and currently working in the UK. Things need to be seen and judged in a wider perspective. I agree these young doctors need professional and moral guidance (in addition to financial support !). BUT thePEOPLE and INSTITUTES responsible for this role are gulity of negligencefor last many decades.Its a common sense that responsibilities start from the top, and not from the bottom. How many conultant level doctors ingovernment hospitals in Pakistan give proper time to their patients, or remain on site for the allocated duty hours, they are bound to be. Yes, I agree there is an appraisal and licensing system for doctorsin the UK , but it is also MUST for consultants/professors, and not only for young doctors. Most of the private hospitals are being run by senior doctors, and not the juniors. Sharif family themselves have not one but two very big private hospitals!!
farhanshahidkhan Jul 05, 2012 01:06pm
If you pay 50k income tax every month than you must be earning at least a million every month. How lucky and still crying like baby
farhanshahidkhan Jul 05, 2012 01:04pm
Bibi! I have been on duty for months away from my family surveying the barren landscape, camping in tents and eating packed ration. I did not talk about that. I was talking about everyday routine. Don't brag your duties to us and better work hard to earn your livelihood. You are behaving as spoiled children who did not get their favorite candy
farhanshahidkhan Jul 05, 2012 12:56pm
that renewal is a joke Ali