By: Matiullah Shenwari
Owing to half a century of war, health care has been least to say quite problematic. The Afghan economy suffers from an outflow of hundreds of millions of dollars of people seeking treatment outside Afghanistan. The basic complaint from most of these people is the lack of properly trained and well qualified medical professionals.
Although Afghan doctors don’t lack in their capability to learn but for long, the absence of a proper medical council,, a proper system, an organized syllabus and teaching staff for post graduate medical training or as it is locally called takhasus, has been the root of the problem.
The post graduate medical training course or takhasus is plagued by old teachers whom are mostly general practitioners that lack the capability to teach all the medical cases and basically can’t provide the training which would qualify on international basis and compare to those post graduate medical training courses given by our neighboring countries such as India and Pakistan, which is a reason most of our medical graduates seek training in these countries.
What we could do is learn from India in this matter, few years back the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons, which is the governing medical body in the UK, visited a few hospitals in India and seeing that they completed their requirement, announced that they will give their post graduate training (speciality) courses in these hospitals. Basically you would give the PLAB exam which is necessary for doing your training course and practice medicine in the UK, in India and instead of going to UK and hoping to find a seat for residency in their hospitals, you can now complete your course inside India.
Although Afghanistan might not be able to get a hospital the meets the requirement of the Royal College, it could bring in the help of its neighboring country India.
Setting up a deal with the medical council of India to either provide their post graduate training courses or as we call it speciality in the local private hospital that meet their requirements or India could set up one hospital with Indian qualified doctors, as aid and thus give the same course and take the same examinations they take and give the same medical specialist license whether it be a fellowship or membership that they give in India. T
his would provide Afghanistan with doctors that are capable in their field and doctors whom would have to travel to other countries would stay in Afghanistan and as the years go on, one single hospital could be the ground for hundreds of well qualified doctors who would do their part to help fix the health care problems in Afghanistan and help young doctors get the proper training and education they deserve.
Now among the basic advantages it has some of its under-shined advantages would be:
Firstly, most of the doctors won’t have to travel and leave their home country..
Secondly, these doctors once they get used to foreign countries, tend to stay there and their benefit for their own country would be next to none, this program will prevent that.
And last but not least, the doctors that train in the respected country, get familiar with diseases prominent in that region and not those back home for example tuberculosis is almost extinct in countries like the UK or US, yet almost epidemical in Afghanistan.
The role of the Afghan government is crucial as it would not only have to use diplomacy with the Indian government but provide security to the hospital if such a thing happens.
The Author is a student of the Nangarhar University in Afghanistan. Matiullah has a keen interest in the economic and security situation of Afghanistan, he frequently writes articles about Afghanistan.