The Doctors’ strike: Sifting the myth from the facts

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By Farkhanda Qaiser

When I heard a common man cursing the doctors and endorsing the brutal acts of the Punjab police against these saviors of life, I skipped a beat. I’m not a member of YDA neither am I yet a doctor. I’m simply a medical student who was at first intrigued by the entire issue and then alarmed when the Punjab government started the crackdown of doctors as if they were criminals.

I turned to the media channels to get the true story but was highly disappointed at the sensationalized and politicized version that greatly masked the true demands of the doctors. In the meanwhile, I kept getting text messages from my seniors that were diametrically opposite to the news updates on media. If media said that doctors are bowing down to the pressure of the government and returning to the hospitals, the text messages immediately denied these false claims. I was highly perturbed by the situation so I switched on my ‘Shahbaz Sharif’ laptop and logged onto facebook. And VIOLA…! The young doctors and their supporters had spammed every group and page condemning the actions of the Punjab government and reporting about the critical condition of the doctors who had been tortured in the police crackdown. And this is what made me turn my head. Ever since the crackdown, I had been dogging the news channels and listening to the rowdy talk shows but never once had I heard about the doctors being brutally beaten up. Why were the facts being manipulated by the media? Could I no longer trust the ‘Azad Media’ of Pakistan to deliver me the news as it really is rather than presenting a partial picture? Thus I began my own search for the truth. And there were astounding revelations along the way. I’d like to share them with my readers.

Another new demand?!

I realized that the prime allegation against YDA is that ever since its inception in 2008, it has come out on the streets multiple times and used pressure tactics to get its demands accepted. People believed that similarly this time the YDA again had a new demand for which it was making the poor patients suffer. However this was no new demand and neither were there any casualties due to the strike.

Last year when the doctors ended their 37-day OPD strike, the Punjab government assured them that not only will their salaries be increased but a comprehensive service structure will also be devised. A special committee was then constituted consisting of all stakeholders for revising the service structure of doctors and paramedics of the health department. Then followed 23 meetings of this committee over the span of a year, in which YDA scaled down the financial impact of its demands from Rs. 423 billion a year to just Rs. 4 billion; all the incentives were to be given in phases during the next five years.

Moreover in February 2012, during suo moto proceedings of the Punjab Institute of Cardiology medicine scandal, a Supreme Court bench headed by Justice Tassaduq Hussain Jilani and Justice Mian Saqib Nisar also directed the Punjab government to give a career-oriented service structure to doctors.  But throughout all this time, the Punjab government has stubbornly refused to keep its promises on the grounds of financial constraints. This is the feeblest excuse on earth because we all know how this same government spends billions of rupees on foreign tours and perks and benefits for its MPAs. Can’t these greedy politicians spare a mere Rs. 4 billion for a better healthcare system?

I suppose not.

OPD strike and casualties?

After having failed in all their attempts to get their rightful demands accepted, the YDA was left with no other choice but to resort to a lock-out in OPDs. This strike started on 18th June 2012; that’s when the media’s malicious campaign started. Images of patients crying were shown and doctors were dubbed as killers without even investigating into the facts. As anyone with the minimal knowledge about the healthcare system would know that closing OPDs cannot result into any deaths because patients coming to OPD, i.e., out-patient department are not critical. Moreover these patients were being treated in emergencies and indoors which were fully functional even during the strike. So in fact the workload of doctors had increased in the days of the strike. To understand further we must look into the duties of a House Officer (a doctor doing house job). He does a 30-hour ward day once a week, 12-hour emergency once or twice a week and the rest of the days are spent doing a 6-hour indoors duty. On the other hand, OPD duty hours are very less. Hence, while the media was crying itself hoarse saying that doctors are neglecting their duty, those same young doctors were sacrificing their day and night serving their patients!

Is the doctors’ strike justified?

Yet another question has arisen time and again in media regarding the ethical value of a strike by doctors and its precedents in other countries of the world. In the past 20 years there have been strikes by medical doctors in Australia, Belgium, Canada, Chile, Finland, France, Germany, Ghana, India, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Korea, Malta, New Zealand, Peru, Serbia, Spain, Sri Lanka, Romania, USA, UK, Zambia, and Zimbabwe to name but a few. The usual causes have been pay and working conditions of doctors. Some of these strikes have led to improvements in healthcare systems, whereas others have caused lasting damage due to delayed action by the respective governments.

On the face of it, it sounds very cruel that patients are being denied treatment for their ailments albeit minor. It reminds me that not long ago, lawyers of our country carried out similar protests and closed down courts adding to the sufferings of the poor clients. However the entire civil society and media supported the lawyers in their cause of supremacy of law and independence of judiciary because they believed that a short-term inconvenience such as a strike would be balanced against a long-term improvement of the system. Now drawing an analogy between the doctors and the lawyers’ situation, we see that the doctors are also trying to achieve a better healthcare system. This brings us directly to the demand of the YDA: the service structure.

What is a service structure?

What the demand of a better service structure mean is that there should be a proper code of conduct for the induction, promotions and transfer of doctors. In its absence and without the right connections, many doctors who start their service as BPS-17 officers also retire in the same grade. Some of them are transferred to district health facilities at the whims of a grade 16 section officer. In April this year, when 691 doctors were transferred to primary and secondary healthcare centers, YDA opposed the move saying that it is not against the transfer but it believes there must be some rules and regulations governing these transfers. Moreover YDA also campaigned for the appointment of Medical Officer directly in Grade 18; for the stipend of post graduate to be made equal to that of a Medical Officer and for bringing health professional allowance equal to basic pay.

The long-term benefits:

All these measures would eventually stop the massive brain drain that is occurring at present. Medical students who study from public sector colleges see no future in staying in Pakistan unless they have a strong ‘sifarish’ to back them for promotions year after year. Thus they opt for higher studies and subsequent jobs in US, UK, Australia, Canada and even Middle East. It’s not just a matter of higher pay rather it’s about job security. If even after studying assiduously all your life and completing your graduation with flying colors, you are still dependent on a BPS-16 section officer or a fake-degree holder politician for the continuity of your job, then you’re bound to spend sleepless nights fearing for the future of your family.

And if somehow a doctor cannot manage to go abroad then he turns to the private sector, which obviously is out-of-reach for the general public. Thus improving the service structure would also serve to retain the trained staff in public sector ensuring quality healthcare for all and sundry. Here I would like to clarify a point regarding private practice. Many common people seem to believe that YDA is being very greedy by asking the poor government for financial favours when in fact these young doctors earn thousands in their private practice. Well that is clearly not the case; because it takes decades and graying-hair experience to reach that Rs. 1000 per walk-in-patient-at-private-clinics state. And of course the young doctors haven’t yet reached that state. So they’re entirely dependent on the government to cater to them.

Therefore the government should stop its high-handed behavior with the most educated cream of the nation and focus instead on solving the problems at hand.

Also YDA should not be seen as a greedy insatiable body forever protesting only for its rights but rather as a body that envisions a Pakistan with better healthcare system. In the past, YDA has also given valuable suggestions to the government of Punjab, which if implemented could radically improve the public healthcare sector. One of these suggestions is a refer system between primary healthcare (found in rural areas), secondary healthcare (found at district level) and tertiary care hospitals in cities. This means that a patient with appendicitis doesn’t have to come all the way to Jinnah hospital for his treatment. Rather he can get himself checked at DHQ Gujrat or any other primary or secondary healthcare.

For improving medical facilities in far flung areas, YDA proposed that private medical colleges owned by MNAs of political parties could be directed to supervise district hospitals, which are in abysmal condition at present.

Support us Please!

In the end I would appeal to the civil society to please support the doctors in their cause and stop cursing the noble souls who spend their lifetimes serving the poor and ill; who have continued to serve them through thick and thin whether it be bomb blasts or earthquakes or floods; who have sacrificed their countless nights to answer the call of duty; who treat their patients without caring for their own health. Please reject the negative propaganda of the Punjab government that is spending millions on doing character assassination of doctors rather than fulfilling their demands.

I would also request the media to please stop sensationalizing this issue and present an unbiased view to the public. We have high hopes from the ‘Azad media’ some fractions of which are finally realizing who the real killer is. In the 3rd July show of ‘Aaj Kamran Khan k sath’ the anchorperson admitted that not a single death had occurred during the peaceful OPD strike of doctors in the first 12 days until the use of force by the Punjab police against the doctors on the eve of 1st July after which the doctors were threatened with arrests if they returned to hospitals and some of the doctors were brutally beaten up and arrested. Since then dozens of people have died due to lack of medical staff in hospitals and only the Punjab government is to be blamed for these deaths…! Moreover city42 unveiled how false FIRs had been lodged against a couple of doctors to attain judicial orders for their remand. Similarly many anchorpersons and column writers are also presenting impartial views. However there are still many who continue to shout at doctors and showcasing them as gluttonous and callous.

Over 20 years ago, a detailed ethical justification for doctors’ strike was published in the New Zealand Medical Journal. According to this article, “what is right should result in the greatest good for the greatest number of people.” If a strike would enable doctors to have better work conditions resulting in them being better rested and thus being able to do their job better then it is fully justified. Doctors sometimes must have the courage to do unpopular and difficult things for the greater good of the public.

And this is exactly what the YDA is doing and paying heavily for.

 

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44 responses »

  1. I m a Doctor and I support YDA.
    Conquering your inhibitions is the begining of success.We knew from the very first day that we will have to pay heavily for it, so no complaints.We knew it,we conquered this inhibition..We are proud that we at YDA have courage to face the adversaries.We are not against critics for criticising us.We just wish that they too develop the courage that might help them getting rid of their inhibitions.

  2. JKudos my girl! Got it all so upfront and right! Farkhanda you have spoken out my heart! And that too keeping the facts everywhere straight. I hope every non-doctor misguided by the preposterous media reads it and heeds. And write more often, its a pleasure to read you. 🙂

  3. thankyou very much farkhanda for presenting so tersely and inexplicably the woes that ‘azad media’ and ‘khadim-e-ala” is posing to the doctor communnity!!hands in hands…together we shall stand..

  4. “Better health care system”, “Noble souls”…..Ironic and hippocratic… 😦
    Article is merely a biased and one sided view by an UNCTUOUS medical student who is supporting YDA just for the sake of ensuring a RICH LUXURIOUS future…. 😦

    Why the hell do you people forget the cost that govt incurs on your medical studies?? Just by paying an average of 16-17k fee per year, you guys want to end up at BPS-18 by just becoming Medical Officers??
    For God Sake!! Have pitty on Civilian Society and stop blackmailing Government… 😦

    • Sara is absolutely right. These YOUNGS DOCTORS would have been better accountants since they are so fond of money, yet their lack of knowledge of the monetary world beyond the books is the reason that they are unable to account for the subsidies they are given during their highly costly studies, since medical studies are most practical and require expensive equipment, medicine, hospital etc. Who pays for that; The Govt. The reason they think of themselves worthy of everything is just because they have had a great academic past, they were on merit and bla bla bla, and now they demand an highest of pays and benefits from an under-developed country’s health sector. HAHA. What these guys do not understand is that their health sector is not creating any revenues, none what so ever. The patients do no pay anything for check ups and operations even medicines, This means that every expenditure made is being done from that small budget allocated to the health sector of punjab. out of which free vacinations are given , doctors pay and free check ups are given and eveything else. How can you demand great pays when you do not create any revenue for you organization Ms, FARKHANDA?? Oh yes, an MBA working for mobilink in corporate sales giving mobilink a sales revenue of 1 million a month can ask for pay increase and everything since he is bringing bread to the table. You are highly mislead and mistaken buddy.

      Do reply to this , i would be waiting.

  5. @sara…I agree that to the common man, the demands of doctors sound very preposterous and unjust but that’s because you guys are not putting yourselves in our shoes! As I’ve explained it’s not ONLY about increasing pays rather its about job security and timely promotions and transfers without the intervention of bureaucracy and politicians. It’s about promoting merit and discouraging the sifarish culture…! This is how it happens all over the world so why not in Pakistan as well?

    Secondly you talk about subsidized education which is given in all government universities including engineering universities and others as well. But does that mean we are bound in slavery to serve the government’s wishes all our lives?! You may not be aware of the fact but at present in all government hospitals almost 50% of HOs (House Officers) are unpaid…! They work the same duty hours as the paid ones, they completed their graduation in the same say but they are still not paid. Same is the case with some PGs (post graduates)…! How can ANYONE justify that? Can you imagine that in any other scenario? Would an engineer ever work 30 hours round the clock without being paid?! Would a bureaucrat sacrifice his sleep to do a night shift without receiving any reward?! No, we only expect doctors to do that?!! Why??!! Are they not humans?!!!! Do they not have families to feed?
    Point to ponder upon…!

    • As far as you logic for engineers are concerned, they would later work for organizations which would create revenues, for instance PTCL. Plus , who told you to be a doctor?? if your so concerned about work hours and hard work. Didnt you know this before you got the highest marks in FSC and decided to become a doc… Its like a you Lieutenant from PMA get posted on borders or WANA or tribal areas and demand for pay increase and everything just because he is tough area and his life is on threat . Does he ? he doesnt , because he chose to be it.

      Unlike you guys, who didnt chose to be doctors, your HIGH MARKS actually led you to a place where most of you dont want to be and now you look around and find every one enjoying , which they always have been while you were studying you brains off.

      God forbid , if we ever go into a war or in desperate times i dont think you guys would ever be happy to work for people and country for free for months.

      • @arsalan: I am surprised at arsalan’s thinking. I couldn’t believe what i was reading! this is how the educated ones treat the educated ones!or is this how the educated ones treat the educated ones! Do u think that only revenue generating organizations are of importance?health is of no priority? prevention is useless? treating cardiac arrest is of no use and the hospitals are a burden rather than a source of revenue? and not all organizations (where engineers work) generate a big sum! look at PIA , look at railways and look at WAPDA with lantern as you cant even see wapda because of loadshedding! If a student gets highest marks then he shouldn’t choose medicine? oh wow ! he shouldn’t even score that much! so that the one day the whole race of doctors will be instinct. Ad kill the doctor if one violates the rule and becomes a doctor! so taking higher marks , working hard for a dream is a crime! A fake B.A degree holder has more brains than a doc? , oh wow! And the Fauj’s .. They are given more than they deserve when they are at peace and they deserve more when they are at war! We respect their passion for patriotism and we don’t mind if they are given more but still look at the fact , they have free medical for spouse and parents and children,, free education at renowned uni , housing schemes , Funds . pensions, what do doctors get? every professional whether doctor or engineer should be treated with respect and should be given a service structure in which he can thrive affluently atleast! Honorary house job and PG training ! wow thats another favour of this bureaucracy and dirty politics for us. Not even a sweeper will work without pay ! we have to do it even at the age of 30 and above ! still depending upon ur parents when it actually should have been otherwise!! Doctors have been upfront in floods earthquakes and war affected area and they never asked for anything just prayers and respect ! and people are now such misers that they don’t have either of them for us!

  6. @farkhanda you are once again misleading people on this forum, everyone knows that only those HOs do unpaid house jobs who dont prefer their own teaching hospital for this purpose (i.e. the teaching hospital associated with that medical college from which they graduated). Who asks them not to do house job at their own hospital???…. when they can spend 5 years away from their home, why not another year of house job???…just for the sake of saving their accomodation costs… 😦

    @arslan!! you have got a really fine point regarding revenue generation.. And yeah!! dont tag them a being the only best scorers, I myself got admission in KEMU, infact I have been a class fellow of farkhanda once!!.. 😛

    So, neither are they ONLY BRAINIAC people in society…It’s just their own discretion that they joined medicine, and Medicine itself is an Honourable and dedicationg field and they knew this before even joining medicine, so they are supposed to behave sensibly now instead of behaving in such an Over-Greedy selfish way…. Their strikes have resulted in a lot of casualities, farkhanda I would recommend you to put yourself in the shoes of the relatives of those who died as a result of ignorance of striking DOCTORS……can u justify that???….:(

    • Strikes is a very common and crude method of dealing with conflicts which you have with your organization. Worker Unions around the world choose the method of strikes and protest because the basic idea is to not work, and if they wont work, the company wont produce , manufacture and sell and thus would face a loss and once the company would face a huge loss per day due to strikes they would surrender to working unions demands. There is a cost that organization has to pay, there is a leverage or to put it in simple words, there is a BATE, like you use to catch the fish.

      As far as YDA’s strikes and protest is concerned the cost of all this is lives of people, lives of patients, disrespect to their profession. The must have hired a professional conflict manager, who would have properly designed and defined the campaign, even if they had any demand or requests. Rather than acting as an ordinary union worker of a factory and carrying out there protest on roads putting at stake lives of others.

      Good education is supposed to bring us great understanding THAN great force or aggression.
      and a person with greater understanding knows what is at stake and what is worth what.

      p.s. it is when a town’s barber choose to be a town’s barber he gave up the wish to have a great haircut and massage for him self.

  7. @arsalan sherwani…first of all thank you for taking out your time to read this blog and also sharing your opinion about it…secondly if you’d carefully read the piece ive written you would’ve realized what the real demands of doctors are?! I already reiterated about the service structure in my previous comment in reply to @sara…

    Secondly you talk about revenue generation then sir this is where the government comes in…it’s a government’s responsibility to cater for all its people and all its organizations…if one organization has less or no revenue generation then it takes the money from the revenue generated by other organizations…this is good governance which our government clearly lacks in! Besides as I explained in the blog the doctors have scaled down their demands to a mere Rs. 4 billion rupees…! If this government can spend billions for its own luxuries and bullet proof cars then why not a small fraction for the doctors?

    Thirdly you mentioned free treatment by doctors in case of emergencies…well let me tell you that many doctors worked day and night for FREE during the floods of Sindh in 2010 and 2011 and also during the earthquakes of 2005…I myself know a doctor who worked for 3 months without getting paid..! so its not a case of decreased morality among the doctors of today.. Rather its about reminding the elected government about its promises to it voters…sadly our government doesn’t listen to negotiations and table talks..it responds only to street power and strikes! Examples are lawyers’ movement, protests against loadshedding, price hikes and the list is endless..!!!

    Lastly, I chose to be a doctor with my full heart and mind. And inshaAllah I will stay in Pakistan and work for the improvement of our healthcare system instead of rushing to greener pastures…! May Allah help me in my cause =)

    • well done Farkhanda. Why don’t you summarize it and write a newsletter to Dawn or some other newspaper to aware the general public about reality.

  8. @sara…hello my dear friend. Please contact me on facebook because Im really sorry but i cant remember any class fellow of mine who got admission into KEMU and chose not to study there =s

    And about the HO situation…I can tell you about mayo hospital that last I heard they were offering only 150 paid seats for HOs…and as you might know that in an average class in KEMU, there are about 250 to 325 students…so you see majority of em are doing honorary jobs. And they are not complaining.

    Because their only demand is a proper service structure…Ive been reading a lot on this issue and I’ve come to the conclusion that a lot of ppl agree that its is a just demand…but they disagree with the manner of doctors i.e doing strikes…wo bi me ne apne blog me explain kiya hai..i hope I dun have to explain again.

    Lastly, everyone is entitled to their own opinions and I wont try to convince anyone. I respect your point of view and I hope you respect mine too. Thank you =)

    • @farkhanda I was of 2015 badge and left KEMU after one month of joining, I had this roll no 149 in class, and you can simply confirm this from sarah,maryam,tooba and samra etc….Hope now it would be easy for you to trace and confirm….:P:P

      Hosnestly, I would request you to stop appreciating this brutal deed of YDA, instead you medical students should embarass them in order to make them realize their mistake….

  9. Superb summary of the ongoing doctor’s crisis. I was astonished to see our media propagating biased version of the situation. Your blog explains the real face of the govt and media. Keep it up!

  10. hahaha this is the most hilarious,childish and funny article i have ever read.Sara and Arsalan nice work guys.somebody has to show them becoming doctor doesn’t mean that u r superior from rest of us.why dont they understand that we are not buying this sacrifices stuff any more.they are not working 48 hour duty,tough working hour bla bla for us.they are doing this to have a secure future,good social status and a pvt clinic in evening where they can earn loads of money.
    @Furkhanda you are so ignorant that i was laughing my hearts out when i was reading ur article.what do u mean by service structure.in easy word what u are asking is pay according to private sector as well as benefits of gov sector. don’t u know that when u are asking for 18 grade.it means in simple words that u are asking for more benefits plus social status.i will bet my everything that if gov agrees today to give you 18 grade and benefits,u will forget everything about service structure and betterment of system.
    about torture on young doctors,this is all crap.ur own Dr Amir of YDA had a press conference on Tuesday in which he admitted that there was no torture on any doc during custody or beating during police raid.
    why dont u just admit it that u are doing this for yourself and sacrificing people for ur purpose without their consent.if you are so noble why dont you sacrifice urself first by cancelling your licences.i m sure this would be more effective.
    bunch of blackmailers

  11. but Farkhanda right now the ones paying the price are those wretched patients who cant afford anything better than a govt hospital.Should doctors use those desperate folks as leverage?These ppl who are already at the bottom of food chain in this country.What good can come out of a little pay raise or promotions when the cost is such human misery?For God’s sake we came in this profession for the respect not for the money,to help the ailing humanity not exploiting their sufferings,otherwise all of you here have brains enough to ace any other field.Isn’t that true? And as for that vulgar propaganda by some doctors that no patient expires in outdoor,THAT is bullshit,so the only way doctor is going to care is when the very life is at threat?All of us have seen those outdoor corridors ,we know that patient sometimes come here from far flung areas many of them are tired of quack remedies others are chronic patients who dont understand their ailments but come with the belief that doctor will fix them.These are the very sweat and blood of this country ,the labourers,the mill workers,sole bread winners for their family,they dont just come for treatment,its not just a beta blocker prescription they are asking for their high B.P(which of course is maybe a miner illness for you) but its their one day wage they’ll loose if their untreated disease prevented them from working.How can we withhold treatment from such ppl and betray their trust?Being a doctor is a great privilege,we shouldn’t compare ourselves with politicians.If govt was so caring we wouldn’t be grilling in loadsheding.
    I am not saying the demands are not valid which by the way your piece has summed up very well, but really this is not the way to get them,Right now both arrogant parties govt and doctors are in a league of their own in exploiting those helpless sick ppl.We know very well how much our govt cares so does that mean we are going to parallel them in their evil doings?What seems way more sensible is that we are entering election year,Why not doctors lobby for their demands on media? Do free medical camps?Or if they are so into the idea of strike then unite with the (NOT YOUNG =experienced) doctors and close all private clinics and hospitals.When these policy makers cant get their expensive treatments and have to come down to a govt hospital ,experience the suffocating atmosphere ,not to mention the unbearable stench,they will automatically become more sympathetic of doctor’s cause.Right now doctors have lost it all.Everything that a medical student aspires for during his long years of study.Respect,good name and most of all prayers of his patients?Tell me one good thing that came out of this strike?
    And the last justification for the strike is not valid in this country because first of all the countries you are giving as example ,over there nurses are so well trained as to be able to handle OPD cases,patients are also more educated about their disease nature.Over here you know very well the nurse situation and second is the issue of poor patient compliance.With dire financial constraints health and medication takes a back seat ,they only show up at the hospital when disease drives them to utter desperation.These are the ppl who are being leveraged in this strike……Its a 3rd world country one that gives you the cheapest higher education.No where in the world is medical education this cheap.Yes its tough being a doctor but thats why its also the most respected field.Think for a second if the situation was reversed ,if you were on the bed and not on the bedside, think about the vulnerability and the blind trust that binds a patient to a doctor.Is betraying this sacred trust the way to achieve your goal?

  12. farkhanda u ve done a gud job in presenting the real picture of the issue. the media has indeed manipulated the whole issue masking the facts n promoting a false propaganda against doctors n the govt has also nt played a responsible role n its unthoughthful actions have indeed aggravated the situation…ppl shud understand that doctors are nt complaining abt the hard work that they put in their jobs nor are they demanding to reduce the work hours bt they only demand to be given a due service structure for the betterment of health department as a whole.it is govt’s responsibility to ensure the service security of the doctors n shud tend to their demands instead of brutal acts against them
    everyone has his/her own perspective regarding the issue bt the critics should avoid personal attacks on this forum.the author has presented the facts in a responsible manner.

  13. Gd going Farkhanda……
    Well thez non doctors ppl can easily post such rude comments bt they are’t aware ov problemz whch v are facing being a doctor.If they think v shdn’t think ov our personal benefits,they mst knw 1 thng tht the whole fuss whch z nw created by govt n so called media(bettr call it Gossip Girl)…v drs are’t demandng nythng xtrz……v want our basic rights.If v stdy in govt medical clges,it dsnt mn tht after graduation v shd b taken for granted.V hv our own basic needs,fmliez to support…..i guess u gyz dnt hv ny dr in ur fmliez thts y u r sharing such harsh thots.The nws ov dthz n all other stuff ws jst a drama..no ptnt died durng peaceful protest.It ws all propaganda ov media against drs….to gt cheap publicity.Y media dint highlight dth ov Dr Naeem due to police torment on him.y??????
    U gyz are unaware ov our prblms n facts thts y u r thinkng tht v drs are merciless n blah blah blah……Bt after all thz mental trauma n torment drs r back to emergencies………..they are treatng ptnts in emergencies bt gvt z still ignoring drs.U gyz tell us hw shd v appeal fr our legal demands????If u think peaceful protest z wrong way,hw shd v shw our ire against drs??????Ya preferably shdn’t join thz profession where doing 24hrs duty v are still consider as criminal,meurderers.Amazing……….U gyz cnt do ny fvr bt screw up evrythng.

  14. First of all as a responsible citizen of this country, i feel disgusted at the role of our media,the politicians and the young docs(some of them don’t look that young).The poor of this country are suffering as a result of this attitude. Second, u have mentioned that the docs want to serve the poor as they always have,This is no where close to reality.
    I would like to share my own experience.This year i met an accident while coming home from my university.I was taken to the best hospital in karachi and there i gained first hand kniowledge of the care these docs give to their patients.I was in the hospital for 4 days and the behavior of the docs was not all of the messiahs u r talking about.I never got to see my neuro-surgeon to whom i was referred. The only people i met were interns for 5 minutes a day.And none of them had the clear idea of my case.One doctor came and told me that i needed a surgery and another one told me that i coluld go home.I was discharged after 4 days and i got to see my doc on my first follow-up visit that too after waiting for 1 hour.So this is the kind of importance you guys give to your patients.
    There are countless other examples of gynaecologists giving wrong dates of deliveries to make money from operations.This is what the best private hospitals are doing to their patients.
    YDA believes that the docs are the only ones who r not being paid well.As an engineering student, i want to share some piece of information with you that the engineering graduates are suffering from the same problems.Job market is drying up and half of our pass-outs are still without jobs.But we haven’t adopted the same route as YDA simply because we can’t create the same impact on the media.We can’t put the lives of the poor in misery.Many engineers with jobs have the same issue as the young doctors and that is of the pay scale.Many companies don’t pay them the kind of money they desreve but they can’t go on strike because they work in private firms that will kick them out if they go on strike.But u guys have gone on three strikes and now after a long time the government is starting to fire the absent docs.So will u prescribe a strike to the engineers as well?
    This comment is a bit harsh because i am fed up of listening to the same old line ” HUM APNAY MAREEZON KA DARD RAKHTAY HAIN “

  15. May b u r rite…cos exceptions are evrywhere….bt nt all drs behave like tht.N 1 thng more if a dr has to examine hundreds ov ptnts in a day…he may gt mntlly disturbed bt it dsnt mn they are irresponsible.U except bounty frm drs..tht they shd examine ptnts throughout the day…..no offense at all..no rest at all…..no allowance…..cheap pay……no service structure…….no upgradation……….no security…………call them murderers or criminals..wtevr………….bt still expect tht dr shdn’t utter a single wrd frm hz mouth………Drs are also human beings nt puppets my bro…

  16. Well my sis anum i truly believe that drs are not puppets They can’t see every singal patient that comes to the hospitals but seeing patients one after another is ur job,isn’t it.One thing u shud realise is that there are certain requirements of a particular job and handling pressure is one the key requirements for docs.This is one thng u guyz shud have kept in mind before entering this profession.
    Second,all of us know that medicine is not lucrative in pakistan.My parents stopped me from studying medicine for the same reason.But you guyz chose medicine and before choosing it u should have had an idea of the pay structure.
    Third,i would like to address ur concerns regarding security.As far as security is concerned, one thing needs ur attention and that’s the kind of patients docs have to see in government hospital.Most of them come from poor families without much of formal education.They do have the tendency to get violent but again this comes with the package for a doctor.
    Last,the engineers have to go through certain issue as well.We have to work in 8 hrs shifts which can extended to 10 to 12 hrs or even days and that too on a plant including noise,toxic chemicals and equipments operated at tempetures even higher than 200 degrees.Many of us have issues of pay structure and promotions but we can’t go on strike like u simply bcz we r not government employees.I am appauled by the attitude of YDA.The Lahore High Court has ordered them to end their strike completely today,yet they have thwarted court orders and left the decision to their governing council.What is this?u guyz want a state within a state?You are seriously losing ur respect with these actions and nobody had ever thought that we r going have murder cases against docs.
    I truly believe that u guyz r not setting a gud precedence to be followed.Plz change the way of ur protest because the impression that we have in karachi is that there is a political game behind all this and nobody i have talked to on this issue is supporting the young docs.It may be bcz of the media and the government but u guyz are the ones who can change this impression.

    • absolutely right farkhanda….i salute your effort to reveal the true problems n demands of doctors….the govt should understand the true gravity of situation n take a bold step to resolve the case..it was really miserable to see the police dragging doctors from their rooms as they were really criminals while they were demanding their true rights nothing else.. when there is well established service structure for all govt servants then why not for doctor???this is the question to be answered by govt….now it is time to make the govt realize that we would never allow slave driving of our doctor community..so join hands to unveil govt,s propaganda ….God bless our senior doctors…

      .

  17. I agree wth ur terms……
    U gyz dnt protest cos u are’t govt employees so u dnt hv to go through all the prblms whch v r fcng.
    Scnd v admitd in medical clg after takng oath tht v ll tc ov our ptnt…….v do as much as v cn fr our ptnts…….bt there mst b sm value ov our service to mankind……..1 thng mr,evrybdy z sayng tht drs shdnt thnk abt their pays n all other stuff bt if v hv a glimpse at our islamic history,ech n evry prsn shd b rewarded fr hs effrts.Bt i guess u ppl think tht v shdnt demand nythng.
    I knw thz profession is’t lucrative n remunerative n are’t dmndng nythng extra……..v are’t demandng bundlez ov money,v jst expect frm our govt to gv us our deserving pay..nthng else….
    Do u think a dr who joins hz duty in 17 grade n still remain in 17 grade after 18 to 19 yrs experience,seniority n research..do u thnk thz z fair???????????
    I ll b highly obliged if u guyz tell us SIMPLE way ov PROTEST to fulfill our true n legal demands?????cos after sufrng police torment n ppl aggression drs are still left wth NOTHING…….v hv strtd our wrk in indrs n emergncies bt still evrybdy z apathetic n indifferent to our prblmz.

  18. As far as the protest is concrned u guyz shud ask the medical stnds and other universities to wear black on one particular day.If i t doesn’t work then u can have one particular colour for evry day.A large stdnt population can support u in a big way.If it doesn’t work then u can ask med. stdnts to boycott class tests first and then 1 class per day.U can then increase the scale of ur protest to other cities and students will support u.We boycotted a test last year and got horrible marks.but it worked as the teacher was then replaced.But this scheme of protest will only work if u return to ur duties completely and attain a high moral ground.What u guyz have in mind is that everyone is against u and thinking of u as demons but what u guyz are not luking at r ur mistakes in this campaign.

  19. Dnt mind bt here nobdy hz time fr othrz.Do u really think it gona wrk???????Crazy………it wud b jst wstge ov time……v drs did opds shut dwn,evn it dint wrk so by wrng blk strips n quitng clses………nthng to do wth politicianz.V wr suffrng bfr protest n v r still enduring bcz nobdy focussed an ear on us.Lts hp fr the best n u gyz keep on blaming us.

  20. v impressive & comprehensive article.
    who so ever intersted to look in to the ,insight , ………. Can do it after reading this article. And I wd say to medical community its not the first time that socity remained failed to understand our acctual problem but I hv seen it again and again , may be expectations from our profession is too high ?

  21. What u guys have done is start ur protest from the extreme level.Closing the OPD and not seeing the patients is the most desperate thing a doctor can do.U went for that extreme option straight away.U said no body has time for others but u could have started from medical colleges bcz the students there would be having the realization that there future was at stake and this would have brought them out on the street.Then these med students could have cntacted their friends in other unis to join the protest and in this way a chain reaction could have started.U could also have distributed pamphlets among ur patients to make them aware of the problems u r facing.In this way u could have prepared the ground for ur protest but docs didn’t go through these stages and this protest is working against and now u r being potrayed as money thirsty monsters.

  22. During our protest period,mst ov the unis wr off due to smr vctn…so cudnt go fr tht optn….n fr ur info v did tht kind ov protest in the past…i dint do nythng.
    Scndly if u think by dstrbtng pamphlets amng ptnts….99% ptnts are illiterate so it wud b gd fr nthng.
    V closed opds bt emergencies wr stl wrkng tht dint effect ptnts n whole fuss on media ws jst a drama nthng else.
    N last bt nt the least v knw our duties n our responsibilities twrdz ptnts so dnt tell us wt v hv to do….in our society ppl jst exaggerate evrythng..sm hppnd in our case.

  23. @ farkhanda .. gud work … and abt the hilarious comments ppl are passing, cant do much but laugh at them and at the same time cry .. these ppl actually do not know what has happened to this nation and what is happening .

    Jaise idhr log likh rahe hain k aap ko kis ne kaha tha k doc ban jao, ye bilkul Ex-PM GILLANI sb ki tarah ki hi bat kar rahe hain k ‘WHO’S STOPPING THEM??????’ Why is everyone protesting on roads for electricity? In logo ko kis ne kaha hai k pak mein raho?? Aj hamare haq ki baat pe ye log keh rahe hain k aap doc bane hi kyu thay to kal jab army wale ya civil services wale apne sath hne wali ziadti ki baat karein ge to phr hm se b isi kism k jawab ki umeed rakhein .. v r also part of this society …

    Just think about it neutrally plz … At present in majority tertiary level hospitals in punjab (or pak for that matter) there is severe shortage of senior registrars (as a specialist, ur initial post). So much so that in some hospitals, the concept of evening round has been abandoned or done by junior ppl (who havent completed their specialization). We are not perfect, there are cases when u need consultant (specialist) n thats what the ‘SPECIALISTS’ are meant for.
    QUESTION: Why is there shortage of SRs???? That is because after ppl pass FCPS / MD (Post graduate degrees), u r forced to work in the same pay scale / grade as u were doin since so many years .. n ppl do get better opportunities in the meanwhile n they go abroad ….
    RESULT: Patient is satisfied k doctor hai mere pas, but that doc needs guidance and support … SOLUTION: Let things go as they are??????????????? dhadadar medical colleges khol k doctors banana shuru kar do … ????????????? Or try k aap specialist aur trained logo se kaam lo … u r forcing them day by day to go out … Betterment tb ayegi jb aap PG Trainees (Specialists in the making) ko facilitate karo … This is what the SERVICE STRUCTURE is all about …

    Warna ho ga ye k doctors to jaise b hain … hazaron mein ban jayein ge .. bt higher level of expertise will be all gone … its just like saari qaum ko matric kara do .. aur higher education k saare center band kar do … NO ENGINEERS, NO DOCTORS, NO MASTERS, bus padha likha punjab …

  24. Very illogical to think that doctors don’t deserve money because they serve humanity. Every professional including Engineers work for people. They earn money when people pay them for the services they provide. Its high time for people of this country to realize that we are just like these very same engineers, lawyers, soldiers and judges(Remember all of them have service structure. It does not matter whether they are happy or sad about it) who require money to survive. Doctors are professionals and nothing else.

  25. serve the peopl but never ask for money , for pay , for good service structure,,, wow today they this
    tomorow they ll say serve ppl and dunt ask for food , for clothing , for water for any thing
    department of forestry ka servise strcture hy , hmara nh hy , wow whata great future a doctor is having in pakistan
    ye sare tar tar tar krne wale apne lye apne bchun k lye ache future chahte hyn, sare chahe to koi masla ni bs doctor ye demond nA KRE WOW , DEMGH NH saheh boosa hy boosa kupri me in k

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