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Government to investigate sacking of Pakistani doctors in Saudi Arabia

SAMAA | - Posted: Aug 10, 2019 | Last Updated: 10 months ago
Posted: Aug 10, 2019 | Last Updated: 10 months ago
Government to investigate sacking of Pakistani doctors in Saudi Arabia

Photo: AFP

Hundreds of doctors holding postgraduate degrees from Pakistan have reportedly been sacked from their posts in Saudi Arabia. The news began circulating on various media outlets this month and recently the Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Health Dr Zafar Mirza has taken notice of it.

In a tweet on Friday he said the ministry of health has contacted Saudi authorities to get to the bottom of the matter. He said that once the facts of the investigation are uncovered and verified, remedial actions will be taken in cooperation with the Saudi government.

Dr Mirza added that the government of Pakistan extends its full support to overseas doctors in this difficult time. He said he had directed the health ministry to facilitate the doctors as soon as possible.

On August 7, a Dawn report stated that Saudi Arabia along with a few other Arab countries including Qatar, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain have stopped recognising Pakistan’s Master of Surgery (MS) and Doctor of Medicine (MD) degree programmes.

Following the development, hundreds of doctors who had received their postgraduate degrees from Pakistan had their job contracts terminated in Saudi Arabia and were asked to leave, according to the report.


The Saudi health ministry said that Pakistan’s MS and MD programmes lacked structured training that was necessary for their medical posts.

“Your application for professional qualification has been rejected. The reason is that your master degree from Pakistan is not acceptable according to the SCFHS regulations,” read a termination letter from the Saudi Commission for Health Specialties.

The doctors had been hired after a round of interviews from major cities in Pakistan by the Saudi health ministry in 2016. One of the doctors said that the Arab countries recognised the same degree from India, Egypt, Sudan and Bangladesh, but not from Pakistan.

The MS/ MD degree programme is a five-year, level-III research and clinical qualification awarded by the Pakistan Medical and Dental Council. The programme began in 1914 and official statistics show that 4,440 professionals with the postgraduate qualification are working in various public and private institutions of Pakistan.

Health Secretary Momin Ali Agha and officials of the Pakistan Medical Association have termed the recent development disturbing and said that the postgraduate programme offers structured training on par with international standards.


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  1. Avatar
      Ejaz AHMED  August 12, 2019 2:00 am/ Reply

    I think its better that Special Assistant to Prime Minister take this up on urgent basis. It will be better to satisfy Saudi Arabian Health Officials than giving statements inland in Pakistan. Its a shame for Pakistan Education System..

  2. Avatar
      Imran  August 14, 2019 12:39 pm/ Reply

    Surprising decision, the professional degrees of Pakistan is much better in standard than gulf countries institutes.

  3. Avatar
      Shazia Rasool  August 16, 2019 2:57 am/ Reply

    Why government of Pakistan remained dormant till the last moment? Govt should contact with SCFHS and Saudi MOH to make the things clear. At the same time the Universities should improve their training and examination system and upgrade it according to latest needs in developed countries.

  4. Avatar
      Sohail  August 16, 2019 3:00 pm/ Reply

    That’s a biased move by fcps doctors. Example of Pakistanis pulling each other’s legs. That is what our society is all about. U go in any hospital and look the way doctors undergoing training pulling each other’s legs. Sometimes they destroy someone’s career for ever

  5. Avatar
      Anonymous  August 17, 2019 11:33 pm/ Reply

    This is a very sad news for pakistan.. this type of issue will linger for years to come.. even if they can fix the issue i dont think hospitals in middle east will be keen on hiring pakistani doctors if there will be indian, sri lankan, etc. available doctors for the job.. just saying

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