Doctors not only help dying people but also help living people, but their shortage in Pakistan is alarmingly dangerous with people having poor access to healthcare facilities.
According to an estimate, Pakistan is facing shortage of more than 0.1 million shortage of doctors to meet the international standard which stated that around 2 doctors, 1 dentist and 8 nurses should be taking care of 1,000 people.
However in Pakistan, there are 213,040 doctors available to meet the requirement of 200 million population which include 157,206 doctors, 16,655 dentists, 36,556 surgeons, 1,533 dental surgeons and 1090 foreign qualified doctors as per Pakistan Medical and Dental Council (PMDC).
In accordance with the population level, around 194,201 doctors, 159, 307 dentist and 1.4 million nurses are required in Pakistan to meet international standards, which could not be enhanced in next few years despite setting up dozens of medical colleges.
One of the major steps could be taken if female doctors are added into mainstream workforce which usually does not continue their medical practices after marriage.
According to an estimate, 70 percent of the students are female in medical colleges but merely 50 percent of them are working at present in different hospitals, healthcare centers and private clinics. Female doctors usually give up their professional lives mainly because of imbalance in work and life which is though a difficult but not impossible.
In today’s constantly evolving fast paced environment, there is no doubt that with each passing day, it is becoming difficult to find a balance between working and keeping up with routine life. The line between work and life has blurred to an extent where many send out emails in the middle of the night or attend work events on weekends which have now become part of their social lives. In such environment, one can only imagine how women with kids not only manage to fulfill their household responsibilities but also serve for a greater cause.
Ghina Shamsi is 38 year old, mother of two beautiful daughters. She is a working mother and a full-time surgeon at Indus Hospital, Karachi. She completed her MBBS at Baqai medical university followed by a house job at Aga Khan University Hospital. She has been working as a consultant medical surgeon for the past 8 years. She is also the head of post-graduate medical education department and general surgery department at Indus Hospital. She aspired to become a general surgeon barring the limitation of female general surgeons in Pakistan, a place where the majority of women prefer a female doctor over a male doctor.
Like any other married woman, she attends to her children, cooks, cleans and takes care of her family including her parents who live with her. Being a working woman is of course difficult but she manages to do justice to her home as well as her profession. She believes that she is lucky to have support of everyone in the household.
Achieving so much while also catering to a house and fulfilling the duties of a daughter, wife and a mother is difficult and doesn’t come without sacrifice. In Ghina’s case, the sacrifice she made was her social life. She believes a compromise has to come somewhere and family should always be prioritized among all other things. So after you work and after you cater to the family, there isn’t much time left to engage with friends and build a social life.
Dr. Ghina sets up an upfront example for all the working women. Those aspiring to pursue a challenging career with absolutely no compromise on family should see Dr. Ghina as an inspiration.
Female doctors and their families should change their mindsets to treat dozens of patients looking for their valuable supports especially in the conservative society of Pakistan in which more than half of the population consists of more female who prefer to be treated with female doctors and surgeons.
These doctors should adopt work and life balance strategy in their lives through time-management. This will encourage next generation of doctors to serve our society with ambition.