Doctors have reasons to feel disgruntled study Islamabad medical practitioners, especially junior ones, in the country are a disgruntled lot and they appear to have good reasons to be so.
According to the results of a recent survey published by the Pakistan Journal of Medical Sciences, low salary, piling workload, no positive feedback, job insecurity and poor mutual support are chiefly responsible for doctors’ unhappiness.
The survey was conducted by Dr. Imran Ijaz Haider, of Fatima Memorial Hospital, Lahore and Dr. Nazish Imran, Dr. Somia Iqtedar and Professor Riaz Bhatti, of Mayo Hospital, Lahore after the approval of Ethical Review Board of King Edward Medical University in Lahore’s tertiary care hospitals.
Of the 601 (49% men) survey participants with the average age of 28 years, majority (393; 65%) were junior doctors.
The survey findings show 49 per cent of the respondents believed that overall, medical practitioners in the country are unhappy.
When asked directly about their own level of unhappiness, they gave almost equivocal reply (43 per cent dissatisfied and 42 per cent satisfied).
For the disgruntled doctors, low pay (87 per cent), increase workload (73 per cent), no positive feedback (70 per cent), job insecurity (64 per cent) and poor mutual support (47 per cent) were the most significant factors behind their unhappiness.
According to the findings, 55 per cent of the respondents wanted to go abroad for practice mostly due to stress at workplace, economic instability, high financial demands and growing lawlessness. And these factors lead to increased risk of medical errors and high costs to healthcare delivery system by increase in absenteeism and poor quality of care provided to patients.
In its recommendations, the study said improving workplace environment, encouragement of support network among doctors, better financial packages were potential policy interventions for helping contain and reverse growing disenchantment among doctors and thus, improving their well being.
“At organisational level, good incentives, proper job structure, and reasonable working hours will not only help medical profession, but will also indirectly help organisations by decreasing medical errors and absenteeism. “Leadership training and teamwork encouragement at organisation levels will further decrease stress. At individual level stress management workshops, career counselling,
setting up of confidential helpline for doctors, free counselling and psychotherapy services etc are some of the other steps that can help in increasing the morale and job satisfaction among doctors,” the survey said.The news