In the last month post graduate doctors (young doctors), Â protested for higher pay and better benefits Â and went on indefinite strike across Punjab. Which after aÂ recentÂ meeting with the CM there theyÂ have finally decided to call off. They resigned en masse from their positions in the public healthcare system,Â 750 in Faisalabad and 1500 in Rawalpindi . The Young doctors association being the body which had called them into action claimed to have 8000 members and were hell bent on taking a stand against the ultimatum being given to them by the provincial government. The result was complete chaos in hospitals, to the extent that many of them were unable to offer adequate healthcare to their patients both in the emergency and non-emergency wards due to extreme short staffing. This also resulted in a number of deaths in these hospitals, as claimed byÂ some news sources.
In Karachi as well, according to aÂ local broadcast journo a hastily put together chapter of the same â€œYDAâ€ had announced their intent to go on strike and resign from their positions if demands were not met. The key Â and ongoing demand of all of these doctors is an increase in their salaries which currently range from 12000 â€“ 18000rs per month to the tune of 20,000 to 30,000 rs per month. Another demand isÂ Â better benefits for the doctors i.e : free healthcare for their families and permanent contracts in the hospitals they work in.
Obviously with emergency wards being left un attended and most day to day procedures being put off indefinitely the protesting doctors are looking like villains to a lot of people as the dilemma of the Hippocratic oath vs due compensation comes into the limelight. However people need to understand that becoming a doctor even on subsidized education received by many of these individuals in government medical colleges is a very very tough road to travel. Not only does it involve many many sleepless nights spent in a very stressful and competitive academic environment but working like donkeys on house jobs with no pay at all. It is no surprise therefore that many of our post graduate doctors decide to fly to fairer shores to seek better compensation for their services. Those that stay behind are summarily reduced to working in squalor like conditions with not just the stress exerted by our emotional society in emergency situations but without the just fruits which their hard labor deserves. Letâ€™s admit it 12000 rs for a post graduate job is not just a pitiful sum,Â it is an insult for these individuals as private chauffeurs in this very city make equal to or more than this amount. How do we expect these Â individuals to lead a life worthy of their hard work and education in this sum of money? How are they to afford even medical care for their own families
Still i would concede that even if justified their protest should not have led to deaths taking place in hospitals because of non attendance. Even if they had to resign as they did they should not have done so fromÂ at-leastÂ emergency ward duties, this much they did owe to their oath taken as life savers.
The only way therefore was the compromises made from both the government and the doctors side to resolve this nationwide crises. We have suffered too much already as it is, we really cannot afford a country wide medical shortage, the results of which would be catastrophic.Â Basic medical care is not an unattainable luxury folks its good all of us woke up before we made it one.