Archive for the ‘Medical’ Category

From the pen ( oops keypad ) of a young doc. Being reproduced originally

As the young doctors’ strike in Punjab continues in its second month, the longest ever in memory and the first one in history (as per credible sources) to shut down the emergencies completely, putting the death toll up as 10 documented cases till the last update and with thousands of patients denied access not only to the emergency, but also outdoor services and indoor services including diagnostic procedures and operations.
Doctors have been labeled as being insensitive and without a conscience. Of being a silent spectator to the agony of thousands of patients while keeping their mercenary interests at heart. This is how the picture would look from outside.
While the closure of emergencies is debatable and not personally endorsed, like many other things in our society at present that we are witness to in recent times, this also has a two-dimensional view, like two sides of a coin. To anyone cognizant of the problems plaguing our health sector, would know that this was a volcano waiting to erupt. This is the manifestation of the deprivation and anger experienced by the healers of a nation that have been denied their access to a decent living despite being the cream of the nation in terms of academics and toiling for long hours with no respite. Being overworked and underpaid is a combination that does not bear well with graduates who have invested a considerable amount of labour and their family’s money to earn this degree. Parents who send their children to medical schools thinking they will get a payback on their investment as soon as their child earns the coveted title of a ‘doctor’. In face of rising competition on both public and private fronts, their dream is hardly, if ever realized.
The ultimate culprit is of course our infrastructure which has a meager health budget and in that the key deliverers of healthcare are given very low priority. So much so that they have to work unpaid, sometimes for years. The ultimate aim of every doctor aspiring to be wealthy is practicing in private, but that includes years of rigorous training before they are able to qualify. This and the absence of job security with the Government reluctant to fill permanent posts compounds the problem. This has led to a massive brain drain of doctors choosing instead to serve in more lucrative posts in the West and Middle East. So have been things for a while.
What is different this time is that with a free media and democracy, our nation is much more vocal and unafraid to voice their demands. And the winds of change have swept the health sector too. These young practitioners are much more daring and outgoing than their predecessors in raising their voices to the injustices committed to their community. They know their worth, though the Government has been slow in realizing it and they have successfully demonstrated it. These are not the doctors of yore who were content with what little was being thrown their way and ultimately seeking their livelihood abroad as consultant posts even after post graduation are few and far between. They on a large scale represent the Pakistan of today, the youth who want their right and they want it NOW. They are not scared of the repercussions primarily because they have nothing to lose.
If successful, their case would be cited as an example where a deprived lot fighting for their due recognition has brought the system down to its knees.

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A magnanimous contribution by the worthy Mrs. Delirium to the blog

Discoursing the literacy rate in Pakistan is something of an oxymoron. In a country where clean drinking water is a luxury and basic necessities like electricity are not available, But what is new is the innovative use of technology to make a difference in the lives of millions of Pakistanis. The Telemedicine project, a 35 million rupee project, whereby  a network is established in the rural areas where health facilities are minimal to nil, patients can get examined and treated by the use of cameras and live transmission by consultants in tertiary care centers. Using trained paramedics, patients can get their querries attended to, get themselves examined by high-resolution cameras, get their investigations ordered and referred to the nearest tertiary care centre if urgent intervention is needed.

 In a country with a majority of rural population living well below the poverty line and where medical facilities are a luxury and poorly developed transportation infrastructure, the provision of medical advice by experts is a bane. Areas inaccessible by mobile vans can now be covered and patients can get treated at a fraction of the cost they would have to spend getting medical expertise in the traditional way.

The successful use of this technology can be extrapolated to dispense knowledge and spread awareness in general in the rural populace. In a country with majority of its population at the mercy of quacks, the Mullah the main knowledge dispenser and the feudal as the main arbitrator of justice, the applications of this technology can be multifold.

It can be used for the distribution and monitoring of knowledge and ensure its correct implementation in areas notorious for ghost schools, with schools synonymous with dilapidated shacks and sharing of their spaces with livestock.

In a country known for embezzlement of its development funds and White Elephants, the judicious use and implementation of such technologies can make a difference in the lives of millions of Pakistanis and bring a much-needed revolution in this nation.

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