OPINION

Brain drain and poor nations

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Today, in The Island newspaper, Prof. GL. Peiris expresses his deep concern about the brain drain the country is experiencing. We all understand its consequences and it is common to all types of professionals from low income to high income. How can we stem it? He hasn’t given any idea how we can overcome it at this time of worst economic crisis.

Brain drain is the greatest challenge to poor nations. A UK qualified medical specialist in Sudan cannot be paid the salary the medical specialist of his qualifications is paid in Australia.

In our country, an MBBS doctor’s salary may not be sufficient but I don’t understand why medical specialists are leaving the country. Yesterday, in a rural area, I consulted a medical specialist and the charge was Rs. 2800 and there were 60 patients waiting to consult the doctor. For 3 or 4 hrs business the earning was Rs.168, 000. This income is sufficient for a luxury life in any country.

One day I asked the brother of a medical specialist why his brother was migrating while he had a lucrative practice here. He said his brother didn’t have any problem with money but it was for the sake of his children’s studies.  I told him if his brother could study in a very rural school in Sri Lanka and become a qualified doctor to serve in a reputed hospital in the UK and why can’t his children study here and he had no answer for that.

And therefore, some cases of brain drain can’t be justified. Poor nations suffer a lot from brain drain. They seek the help of rich nations to stem brain drain. Because of the unprecedented, worst economic crisis in our country, it is at a high now.

Anyway, if the professionals can stay here and serve the people at the time of the worst economic crisis, that’s patriotism in its most beautiful form.

M. A. Kaleel

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