Doctors and medical teams in Pakistan are often guilty of blatant medical negligence when it comes to treating patients, especially in smaller towns and villages. Recently, a woman and her newborn baby died in a Manawala hospital, due to alleged carelessness by the doctor. The doctor mistakenly cut a vein of the woman, causing unstoppable bleeding resulting in the death of the mother and child. The family of the two victims, protested in front of the hospital, with no results.

There is a glaring absence of medical inspection in Pakistan. Not only does the lack of verified information about doctor qualifications and hospitals lead to medical malpractice. It allows the so-called medical boards of private hospitals to neatly brush aside the complaints and accidents. There is a need to develop a system where the negligence, issue of probability and error can be recognised, with the accused heavily penalised and punished. The Pakistan Medical and Dental Council (PMDC) has to make sure that it is doing its part to assure quality to the people of Pakistan. The medical profession is one of the noblest, and it must not allow itself to be run amok by quacks and rogues in for the money. Doctors have to know that any mistake due to negligence will be investigated and they risk losing their practice if people are dying under their watch.

Another unfortunate development is the dismissal of the National Maternal and Child Health Program (MNCH). This initiative was one of the few that were actually helping women and children. The government stopped paying employees since the programme should have been devolved to the provinces- except that it wasn’t. Now hundreds of centres, running since 2007 are devoid of funds and will soon have no staff. Did the government decide that women and children are not at risk anymore? Does the federal government even know of this?

Medicine is a tough profession that requires intelligence, dedication, and the courage to forgo ones own comfort and economic benefit for that of the patient. This is much to ask of the youth of the country, where someone who will become a banker, or join a corporation, will earn three to five times what a young doctors starting salary will be. We have one of the lowest investments in health, a mere 0.8pc of the budget and the last decade has seen many a protest by a poor doctors and nurses with low wages and unforgiving hours. We cannot and should not excuse medical mistakes and acts of negligence. However, we also cannot excuse the state administration for never allocating acceptable amounts in the budget to the sector, and cutting programs that are actually doing well.