Pak doctors with MS, MD degrees face mass sacking in Saudi Arabia

In a worrying development for Pakistani doctors, Saudi Arabia and some other Arab countries, including the UAE and Qatar, have rejected the MS/MD postgraduate degree programme of Pakistan.

The development implies that the Pakistani doctors with MS/MD postgraduate degree programme are no longer eligible to work in these countries. The move has reportedly rendered hundreds of highly qualified Pakistani doctors jobless. A majority of these medics are in Saudi Arabia and have been told to leave or be ready for deportation, reported Dawn.

Most of the affected doctors were hired in 2016 by the Saudi Health Ministry when it conducted interviews in Karachi, Lahore, and Islamabad after inviting applications online. The Ministry claimed that Pakistan's MS/MD programmes lacked structured training, which is a mandatory requirement to hire medics against important positions.

One of the doctors affected by the move said that the decision has brought embarrassment for them since the same degree programme offered by India, Egypt, Sudan, and Bangladesh was acceptable in Saudi Arabia and other countries.

A copy of the service termination letter obtained by this correspondent read, "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."

Ali Usman, an affected medic, said, "I had done five-year postgraduate qualification from the University of Health Sciences, Lahore, with training from Lahore General Hospital... But all of a sudden the Saudi health ministry terminated my job contract, landing me and my family in immense shock.