ISLAMABAD - Hundreds of Pakistani doctors in Saudi Arabia are bracing themselves for the loss of their jobs and deportation after the Gulf kingdom's abrupt decision earlier this month to reject Pakistani postgraduate medical degrees.
According to termination letters issued by the Saudi Commission for Health Specialties (SCFHS) and cited by Pakistani newspaper Dawn link on 7 August, Saudi authorities no longer recognise Pakistani postgraduate degree programmes - MS (Master of Surgery) and MD (Doctor of Medicine) - as acceptable qualifications for a medical licence. link
"Your application for professional qualification has been rejected. Reason is that your master degree from Pakistan is not acceptable according to the SCFHS regulations," reads a letter.
According to Dawn, the majority of those who received the letter have been told to leave the country or be ready for imminent deportation.
The Saudi ministry claimed that the degrees lacked essential medical training required for senior jobs.
The news has come as a shock to many Pakistani doctors in the kingdom, many of whom have been working in Saudi Arabia for decades.