The problems of doctors in Yemen [Archives:2004/745/Health]

June 10 2004

By Nawal Zaid
For the Yemen Times

The issue of doctors has become an issue that ought to be discussed and to be looked into as it a health problem before it becomes a social one.
There are many doctors here in Yemen, some of them are good doctors but others do not deserve to be labeled as doctors.
Many doctors working here in Yemen, including some foreign doctors, do not know how to diagnose the patients' conditions, therefore, they resort to either guessing or prescribing several medicines hoping that one of them could ease the patient's suffering. Many doctors lack the required experience in addition to lacking essential equipment in determining illnesses and in the prognosis of the condition of patients properly. Some doctors, swayed by greed, want to be specialized in every field of medicine, and end up specialized in nothing, as the saying goes, “The jack of all trades masters none”.
There are some nurses, after working several years, who assume that they have become also doctors. This is another crime being committed against patients in Yemen.
Doctors should have enough time to talk to their patients, instead of rushing one patient after another and limiting the medical check up to two minutes. In my opinion, a good doctor is the doctor who prescribes one medication for the treatment of a patient from a certain illness, but almost all doctors herein Yemen give each patient four to five kinds of medication, sometimes for a minor illness. This only destroys the patient's immune system. Some patients are suffering from mental disturbances and not physical illnesses. Thus, they require only therapy instead of a pile up of medications that only aggravate the patient's condition with the unnecessarily financial burden he has to bear.
Here, we say to doctors, Yemeni and foreign, you have to prove that you deserve to be called doctors through the type of treatment you provide to your patients. Yes, Yemen lacks many good doctors, as well as modern diagnosis medical equipment at most of its hospitals. The state must furnish public hospitals with required medical equipment. Scholarships must be handed out to selected doctors for higher studies and specialization.
The Ministry of Health must constantly and strictly monitor the situation at private and public hospitals and at dispensaries and clinics and pharmacies scattered in the streets. The Ministry must exert its utmost efforts to combat the smuggling of cheap and ineffective medicines flooding into the country.
The careless and unqualified doctors must be held responsible in order to create trust between patients and doctors, the trust that is essential in the treatment of patients psychologically.