Thursday, 10 March 2011
Eighty Five Doctors Killed in Karachi
Since 1990 eighty five doctors have been killed in Karachi. The motives are usually sectarian violence but some have been subjected to extortion as well.
Recently, Pakistan Medical Council has received thousands of applications from doctors for Certificates of good character to enable them to move and work abroad.
Of course, in UK these certificates are denied to those who upset political establishment. I certainly know about that.
Doctors are very vulnerable as they can be easily found through their clinics and hospitals. Having a certain surname is sometimes enough for a doctor to become a target. For example, a Shia sounding name. As one may expect some of those identified as Shia doctors had no political or religious affiliations whatsoever.
In Pakistan doctors have worked under intolerable conditions. Sometimes mobs would prevent patient entering clinic and there have been threats against doctors treating patients.
Unfortunately, doctors from Pakistan may find that their dream immigration country is not what it seems. There is political and social repression of doctors and non-doctors who hold views which are not characterized by mysticism or beliefs in supernatural forces in many parts of the world. Immigrant doctors are treated badly in many places and are isolated and thus easy targets for bullying again.
In England there is religious bias in all medical institutions including the medical regulator. Certain issues cannot be discussed and patients do suffer. There are, of course, rules and guidance and law, but so what. Who cares!? In some of The Royal Colleges members of religious groups have attacked doctors directly through the medical regulator and have worked at the medical regulator's Fitness to Practice. They have been effective at preventing research and its publication.
Maybe the thought of these desperate doctors trying to flee Pakistan would make things worse for some outspoken British doctors who could be seen as easily replaceable by the hospitals who employ them or by the regulator who can strike them off as demanded by the NHS (National Health Service) managers.
In ancient Rome doctors were slaves. Warfare was important method of acquiring slaves, but bankrupting individuals was another way. Sometimes head of the family sold his children into slavery. Today doctors are not called slaves although some may feel treated as if they were.
Religion is important method for causing divisiveness and wars today as it was in the past. Some Pakistani Internet forums blame foreign powers for giving support to extremism, others urge Pakistani people to accepting responsibility for their current situation.
Photo: a militant group arrested who allegedly killed three doctors. Click on the photograph to read more.