Saudi officials have arrived in Pakistan to hire doctors for the Saudi ministries for health and defence and are to interview candidates this month, The Express Tribune has learnt.
The recruitment is being done via the Overseas Employment Corporation, a federal government body under the Ministry of Human Resource Development, according to official documents.
Doctors intending to interview for the jobs said that they were applying because of the high salaries and better working conditions in Saudi Arabia. But a professor voiced concern that the government was facilitating the departure of Pakistani doctors when there was already a shortage of qualified medical professionals here.
Consultants and specialists
The Saudis are looking to hire home healthcare consultants, health education specialists, paediatric intensive care unit (ICU) consultants, anaesthetists, internal medicine consultants and a chief of internal medicine.
An OEC official involved in the hiring process refused to say exactly where the interviews would be conducted, except that there would be separate rounds in Islamabad, Karachi and Lahore.
He said that as a rough guideline, the candidates for consultants should be Fellows of College of Physicians and Surgeons (FCPS) and have three years of experience. Candidates applying for specialists’ posts should be Members of the College of Physicians and Surgeons. He added that the Saudi officials had the power to offer jobs and decide salaries on the spot.
“A doctor with FCPS and two years experience would get 16,000 Saudi Riyals (Rs387,774) per month at least,” he estimated. “Doctors with longer experience in a field like anaesthesia can get up to 36,000 Saudi Riyals (Rs872,492) per month,” the OEC official said.
A doctor who works at a government hospital in Lahore and who is planning to apply for a specialist job said that his main motivation was money. “I am getting around Rs70,000 a month here and if I go to Saudi Arabia I am likely to get at least Rs450,000. The residence will be provided by the Saudi government. The hiring is on contract and can be extended on performance and request. For me, it’s a good option,” he said.
He said that a benefit of applying via the OEC was that candidates would be secure in the knowledge that the scheme wasn’t a fraud. “If you go through a private firm there is a risk ... you may have to pay a hefty amount as a ‘processing fee’,” the doctor said.
A professor at Services Hospital said that another reason Pakistani doctors were quitting the country was the poor working conditions in Pakistan. “I know doctors who came here from abroad to serve the country, but couldn’t stay because people here didn’t let them work. It’s important to know why doctors leave, if you really want to stop them. The government should do a study to find out why good doctors go abroad,” he said.
A professor at Lahore General Hospital voiced concern about brain drain. “There is already a shortage of doctors in several departments, like ICUs, emergency wards and anaesthesia. No matter how hard you work to build your hospitals, you cannot run them without good doctors,” he said. “Instead of doing something to stop the brain drain, the government is facilitating other governments to hire its best doctors.”
Published in The Express Tribune, April 24th, 2012.
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Its a shame..We are losing FCPS qualified doctors to Saudia so rapdily..The training of doctors here is going to suffer with Quality Consultants going abroad..Please govt for sake of our next generation,Give the doctors some kind of service structure here..
They dont have any need to go on strike as the salaries are already good enough alongwith proper job security
Will the Young Doctors go on Strike in Saudia as well..????
Then we condemn YDA when they want to improve the service structure so doctors might stay back. We are all hypocrites. We won't give the doctors proper salary or job security but we expect them to work for us unconditionally. I am sure if a person from any other field gets this opportunity, they will gladly take it without thinking twice.
So look at your selves before accusing doctors or anyone else.
Please think in a broader perspective and it in a positive way, this is very Good... It is good in respect of : Foreign reserve will come in Pakistan... If they work their good with full dedication and honesty than sure they will open the gates for the other pakistanies...... Atleast, When we go there for we have our pakistani brother there and it is good..... there is alot of positive things will come in pakistan ..... Regards
Saudi Is a bad place for pakistani doctors (my father is specialist here in saudi) They treat doctors like servants. Yeah but Money is Money all doctors once they come here dont leave government wants more doctors to go abroad because remittances will rise more like we send money lakhs to pakistan.
Why critisize doctors only. There are teacher, engineers, skilled and un-skilled labour, etc. Remember OPs remitt 11 billion annualy, which almost half of the FC in-flow in Pak economy. And why pin pointing Saudis? Doctors do immigrate to Europe and US, and that by all out efforts and paying huge sums.
Doctors don't have any other option as Punjab government is forcing them to run away.
There is no scarcity of doctors in Pakistan. They should be allowed to move because everyone has the right to choose his best career and opportunities!!!!!
Only if this educated-lot can live with limited worker's rights, selective justice, discrimination and disrespectful slave from Pakistan.
There is critical shortage of health professionals in the country. Rather than creating better work conditions government is fast sending them packing to work overseas. Had the law and order situation in the country improved along with better pay and work conditions, there is no reasons for anyone to leave. In the current situation, one cannot blame any of these health professionals, if not KSA, there are other countries happily recruiting our health professionals.
we need good doctors here in KSA
Who in their right mind would want to live in the KSA? You're treated like a third-class citizen; almost no entertainment; and you'd have to treat jumped-up camel jockeys. I'd stay home.
If there are extra skilled manforce it should be exported instead of creating congestion in country.
With the abundance of medical schools in Pakistan, I hardly think there will be any shortage of doctors in Pakistan. If anything, the majority of these doctors will go to Saudi Arabia, make some money and improve health care in that nation and return home to Pakistan. Most Pakistanis would never want to live in Saudia for very long and certainly most female family members will urge family members to return to Pakistan in due time. This is a win- win situation so I can't understand why anyone should complain.
I dont have anything against immigration, but the government shouldn't at least be aiding such recruitment as a policy.
Aren't there any indigenous qualified Saudi doctors in KSA that they need to be imported from abroad? I have no qualms with doctors going abroad who've studied privately. However those who've used govt resources and studied from govt institutes (Dow and King Edward graduates etc), they should first serve the people who've paid for their tuition fees (tax payer money) instead of selling themselves to KSA.
Let the doctors go.They will be back soon with fading islamic brotherhood.P