Dr. Tehrim Fatima
The dilemma of doctors.
Medicine is prestigious and celeberated education all over the world. And it was so in Pakistan, but dynamics are changing in the last few decades. There are so many factors involved in the commercialization of the medical field. There is a capitalistic overtaking of the medical field. Irrespective of the argument of the orientation of the medical field, doctors are critical to the profession. Doctors and para-medical staff are the engines of medical work. However, their role is becoming less effective with the commercialization of the trade.
The challenges for doctors have always been enormous. Getting into medical college seems like an ambitious project to many pre-medical students. Many students get stuck in this same repetitive phase. Then, some lag in the process due to financial problems and others due to a lack of motivation.
The profession may be a choice of profession for male aspirants, but it is a mixed bag for female aspirants. There is also a “Rishta Culture” woven around female doctors. An ambitious girl goes to a medical college to be a doctor who can serve back to humanity. But, against the notion, the sole purpose of her medical endeavours seemed to have a good spouse back then. But now, the rishta regime is changing. Most of the graduates get into the job.
But now, the “population boom of doctors” is making it difficult for fresh medical graduates to further their careers and growth. The rapid supply of doctors has increased due to unchecked policies regarding private medical colleges and foreign universities. Graduates from Pakistani medical university or vice versa have no edge over other medical graduates. It is acceptable to disseminate medical education to all, but the regulators must ensure specific qualitative standards.
Traditionally, aspirants would go into medicine for two reasons, i.e. prestige in society and money-making aspirations. However, both aspirations are declining in Pakistan and not serving the people of Pakistan. Then, the inner medical treatment culture also deteriorated in Pakistan. In Pakistan, any tertiary care hospital is cluttered with the problems of patients’ attendants fighting with doctors for beds, essential medicines and primary health care. This reference can create a symbolic imagination about the working conditions of the medical field. The problem is that most of these attendants need to understand the hospital’s work. They need to understand the fundamental difference between provisioning and delivering the facilities. Doctors are there only to deliver the facilities the government or private hospital administration has provided. The attendant’s attitude has been a soaring issue for working doctors, especially for female doctors.
After all the hardships of this challenging education, job rotations and continuing duties of 30 hours make the most difficult challenge for doctors. The impractical job rotations develop a problematic effect on the doctors resulting in a callous attitude toward the patients. Then, the whole medical work spoils the fresh doctors who have to work for themselves and senior doctors. It is the worst dilemma for doctors. Furthermore, job insecurity and working conditions discourage the new lot of doctors. Resultantly, doctors either leave the profession or try to settle abroad. The brain drain of doctors is a real issue in the medical profession in Pakistan.
The future of MBBS is bleak in Pakistan as it is not working anymore in Pakistan. All surveys in this regard prove that fresh doctors are not hopeful for improvement in the medical profession. Interview any graduate, and ask about future opportunities; they will show interest in taking the medical licencing exam for USA or UK. The Brain drain affects the quality and performance of this wrecked health system. Thus, the medical system requires early reformation and restructuring. The provision of quality medical facilities is the fundamental right of the people, and fresh doctors want to help restore it. They want to serve humanity in Pakistan. They are frustrated owing to multiple reasons. If the medical profession is reformed on the canons of transparency, merit and opportunities, the doctors of Pakistan shall deliver in the health sector. The doctors in Pakistan understand their role, even if they are not convinced to be the messiah of humanity.
Lastly, doctors are the most talented youth in the nation. They win the race competition at the earliest. Their welfare is instrumental in the growth of the medical profession in Pakistan. Government should regulate medical education, occupation and developmental processes.