Young girl being handed a bottle of medicine

Co-authored with Tim Cox

Medical professionals have been leaving Pakistan in such large numbers that the country’s healthcare is reportedly stagnating.

Skilled professionals, including medical staff, are taking their skills and ambitions to developed countries where career prospects are brighter in a processed dubbed the brain drain.

A 2011 study by Pakistani academics Muhammad Wajid Tahir, Rubina Kauser and Majid Ali Tahir, found close to 36,000 professionals have left Pakistan in the past 30 years and it is estimated that between 1,000 and 1,500 doctors leave each year with no intention of returning.

Wajid Tahir, Kauser and Ali Tahir estimate that the country has lost around 25 per cent of its medical doctors to date, and the numbers are increasing.

A 2016 survey by Pakistani social research group Gallup Pakistan found that more than two-thirds of Pakistan’s adult population wanted to leave the country for work with half of them leaving for good. The same study in 1984 found that only 17 per cent wanted to do this.

The most commonly cited reasons for people leaving Pakistan are poor career development paths, meager salary packages, inadequate further learning opportunities, and a lack of research culture.

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