A doctor in the house - at BD1.600 an hour!
By AMIRA AL HUSSAINI
Here's a small lesson in mathematics and a big lesson in life. There is no need to put your thinking caps on because I will take through the problem step-by-step.
Apparently, resident doctors working at the main government hospital, the Salmaniya Medical Complex, are being paid BD800 a month for putting up with workloads of up to 120 hours a week.
This means that they work for a phenomenal 480 hours a month on an average - for peanuts.
I am saying peanuts because if you divide BD800 by 480, the result is BD1.600 per hour - or a packet of those salted roasted peanuts. In comparison, the person who washes your car makes BD1 for roughly 20 minutes of work and a part-time houseboy may earn BD1 an hour for dusting the house and watering the garden.
People look at to doctors wherever they go and say: "Wow ! It must be great being a doctor!"
Please don't get me wrong, for those I know in the profession - my husband included - tell me it is great being a doctor.
I am saying this not because it is a noble profession, but because many of those selfless people are doing it because they believe in the cause and are putting their lives on the line to spend more time with patients and ease their pain.
What is not great about being a doctor is the meagre pay cheque at the end of the month, for no-one can ever be satisfied with not getting what he is worth.
Discussing the plight of the over-worked and under-paid doctors is timely today, when you consider the demands being made by the jobless, along with the calls for social aid for those earning less than BD300 a month.
Everyone deserves to live a decent life. Everyone deserves an opportunity to improve his/her standard of living, but to do that, they have to be equipped with the essential skills necessary to ensure a place in the job market.
If qualified doctors are putting up with a demeaning situation and accepting it with a pinch of salt, while working in silence to improve their situation and redress the balance, why are others making so much noise?
Whoever said empty vessels make the most noise was right on the mark when it comes to the current situation in Bahrain.
Instead of dealing with the jobless protests with batons and teargas, it would be ideal to sit those people down and see exactly what they want.
A detailed study of their experience, education, training and work ethics would call their bluff.
For people who want to work are more systematic, organised and patient while working towards a long-term solution.