The issues of practicing medicine in Pakistan

Pakistan

Lahore, Pakistan (Hassan Wasim, Unsplash)

This article was exclusively written for The European Sting by Ms. Ezza Elahi, a second year MBBS student from Aziz Fatimah Medical and Dental College. She is affiliated to the International Federation of Medical Students Associations (IFMSA), cordial partner of The Sting. The opinions expressed in this piece belong strictly to the writer and do not necessarily reflect IFMSA’s view on the topic, nor The European Sting’s one.


A country like pakistan, things which are out of norms and different are somehow not so acceptable. Our LGBTQ community is suffering from the same fate which is discrimination, disdain and not so dignified environment.

Flamboyant, colourful and eccentric, many among Pakistan’s marginalised transgender community scrape a living through dancing, singing, begging on streets and prostitution. They are forced to do it all as they are considered to be an outcast because of their sexual orientation so they are offered no proper jobs whatsoever.

LGBTQ community is suffering from this social taboo thing which is not only bad for their mental health but also physical health.

Due to their beliefs and sexual orientation, they can’t even express themselves and their problems in front of their loved ones, physicians stand nowhere in line but the LGBTQ community can’t be blamed as the people in healthcare have failed to make them comfortable.

There are not many people in healthcare who knows much about their needs. They think they do but far more work is necessary in this aspect.

People from this community are refused basic services because of what their sexual orientation is or how they define their gender. They are often denied counselling, therapy, treatment, checkup, provision of  various medical procedures and medication.

LGBTQ youth are at higher risk of sexually transmitted diseases, cardiovascular diseases, obesity and other mental health problems because of bullying and violence.

They are often isolated and so there is a greater incidence of depression, anxiety and suicidal thoughts as compared to other communities in the country.

No civil rights legislation exists to prohibit public or private sector discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity.

There are some political parties which have given support for LGBTQ rights, but most political parties either ignore the issue of LGBTQ rights or oppose LGBTQ rights on religious grounds.

There is fear among LGBTQ youth and they are unable to express themselves in front of others. They are discriminated against to such great levels that they are suffering from unhealthy practices and they can’t even speak or do anything about that and alas! neither many people want to help them.

Our healthcare system needs to change. They should give equal and no biased treatments to people as this is a basic of basic right any individual is given in any country or community. Moderation, equality and a sense of responsibility goes above all social inflicted boundaries.

Health care barriers need to be broken down which make things way more harder for this community then already are. Otherwise it can lead to delayed medical care especially in routine checkups such as early detection tests.

Eliminating LGBTQ health disparities and enhancing efforts to improve LGBTQ health are necessary to ensure that LGBTQ individuals can lead long, healthy lives.

About the author

Ezza Elahi is a second year MBBS student from Aziz Fatimah Medical and Dental College.

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