LAHORE: The Pakistan Medical Association (PMA) has warned that more doctors will resign from government service and search for jobs abroad if their pay is not raised. PMA officials told a press conference that “the 1,800 consultants who are the backbone of our government hospitals will be forced to resign and leave the country” if they are not given special pay packages, according to a PMA press release.
They said the recent hiring of 2,500 Pakistani doctors by the Saudi government was a clear sign of the provincial and federal governments’ failure to address doctors’ grievances. The PMA officials complained that the government had given a special pay packages to the judiciary but neglected doctors. “They have not been given a pay raise nor a regular service structure. Thousands of doctors have left Pakistan as a result,” they said.
The PMA also demanded that the Punjab government withdraw a ban on the repair of machinery in hospitals, which was recently imposed as an austerity measure to free up funds for flood victims. They threatened protests if the doctors’ demands were not met. PMA office bearers Dr Yasmin Raashid, Dr Tanveer Anwar, Dr Izhar Chaudhry and Dr Salman Kazmi addressed the press conference at PMA House, Lahore.
Published in The Express Tribune, October 19th, 2010.