Balochistan is a land full of treasures; it is rich in flavors and hidden resources. However, one of its most significant resources; the human resource is suffering greatly owing to the alarming condition of the healthcare system.

Be it a government hospital in Sherani, Khuzdar or Dera Bugti or a private one in Quetta; hospitals are failing to provide quality services to the patients.

Often fingers are pointed at the doctors in the news, stating that they are not fulfilling the role they had pledged to play and that they are not completing their duties properly. Nonetheless, let us try and look at this problem from a different perspective.

The doctors, who are mostly portrayed as transgressors spend a major part of their lives buried in books for the sake of serving humanity. However, when they join the workforce, they are not provided with even the most basic facilities as compared to other government officials of the same status.

Most of funds released by the government for the improvement and development of hospitals are misappropriated before they even reach the deserving party. There are times when doctors’ pays are withheld, all while they are asked to continue working 24/7. Consequently, when they work at private practices in spare time, just to make ends meet, it is looked down upon and they are often indirectly penalized.

Despite being government officers they are not provided with any transportation services, health insurance or other facilities that officers of the same pay grade receive in other sectors. Their pay scale is limited and when appointed to remote areas, they are not given transportation or even accommodation. They are expected to provide these services for themselves using their meager salary, which is more often than not, withheld. How can doctors be expected to provide good services when they are barely able to provide for themselves?

Even medical students suffer as they are deprived of basic needs like security and proper accommodation. These students suffer academically due to prolonged academic years with a lack of check-and-balance on teaching standards and students’ needs. There is no authority where the students’ issues can be heard and dealt with properly. Therefore, the only option left for doctors and medical students is to go on strike, raise their voices and demand for their needs to be fulfilled.

One of the most notable reasons for the decline of the Government Health Sector and the plight of doctors in Balochistan is that the requirements of doctors are not fulfilled even though they are expected to work at the highest possible standard.

Furthermore, the doctors are not provided with essential security measures. Examples of this are the abductions of Dr. Khalid Shah, Dr Saeed and Dr. Munaf Tareen; all three of whom were abducted in public.
As the saying goes,
“Everybody knows that the boat is leaking
Everybody knows that the captain lied”

Doctors are expected to perform miracles while being forced to work in substandard conditions at hospitals. However, in the end, when there has been no accountability of funds and facilities, the blame for low quality of service in these hospitals is placed on the doctors.


About Author

Moneeba Javed is a second-year MBBS student at Bolan Medical College, Quetta. She was named as the Best Writer by Afaq Association back in 2014. She has also been a part of the Literary Society at Federal Government Degree College.

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