October 14th, 2013
Ashwin Shukla Ekadashi, Kaliyug Varsha 5115
AHMEDABAD: Growing terrorist unrest and a hostile attitude towards minorities in Pakistan forced over 20 doctors to migrate to Gujarat last year. This is the largest migration of medical professionals to the state – the highest so far being nine (1999) after the Kargil war and eight in 1970. The number could go up this year.
Over the past over four decades, 64 doctors have migrated to the safe haven of Gujarat from Pakistan, mostly from the Sindh province, and registered with the Gujarat Medical Council. Sources say the number of doctors who have migrated but not yet registered could be much higher.
Most of these doctors have completed their MBBS from the Sindh University. These doctors have left behind a thriving practice after they were haunted out by the terror organizations in Pakistan.
Dr Kailash Kumar Maheshwari, who was forced to give up his home in Pakistan, said, “I migrated with my family to Ahmedabad in 1998. I had completed my MBBS degree. The situation in Sindh is not conducive for minorities.”
Maheshwari said things have only become worse. “Many more doctors have come to Ahmedabad via Kutch. We feel secure here rather than inSindh”.
Most doctors from Pakistan maintain a low profile and are scared to speak up. “The situation in Sindh had really deteriorated. I had to leave everything and came to Ahmedabad with my family of 10 as one of my relatives stays in Ahmedabad,” said the doctor.
Pakistani doctors cannot directly practice in India. They are required to clear a screening test conducted by the Medical Council of India (MCI). Once they clear the test, they can register themselves with the Gujarat Medical Council and can start their own practice.
Gujarat Medical Council president Dr Nitin Vora says, “We have 64 doctors registered with us since 1970. Last year, 20 doctors registered with us and are practicing in various hospitals or running clinics.”
Dr Roopkumar Agarwal, an Indian doctor who runs a hospital in Shahibaug, said he has employed five to six doctors from Sindh. “When they have not cleared their MCI test they do administrative work. Once they clear the test they are allowed to practice,” said Agarwal, who added that these doctors are hard-working and sincere.