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Criticism hallmark of a democracy...

Comment
Winfred Peppinck


A letter to the Editor, over a week ago, from “Omar,” was very critical of some of the policies and political directions being taken in Bahrain.
It was for me, or in the words of the famous British television programme, Yes, Prime Minister, the Adviser, Sir Humphrey Appleby’s, now iconic comment, a “courageous” letter.
“Courageous,” immediately made Prime Minister Hacker, hesitant.
Well, Omar’s letter, was certainly courageous, containing what some might define, as home truths.
But, as far as I can gauge, not a sniffle of reaction, no one countering claims of laziness and ineptness, no one coming to the defence.
No individual Bahrainis, no comment from a government spokesman, as though the matters raised in the letter could simply be ignored.
And obviously, it was!
Yet, constructive criticism is a hallmark of a democracy, and has been welcomed by the Prime Minister.
A letter in the GDN, early this week by Duri, raised pertinent issues about university courses and unemployment, the need for greater attention to on job related vocational studies.
Not just a Bahraini problem, but it is one being faced by governments around the world.
Learning, churning, unemployed, yearning.
Lots of questioning the value of an Arts degree and the need to focus studies on directly relating to job opportunity, in a “mix and match” way.
Don’t just leave it to the “market” to decide, but channel jobs to study.
By returning to the working apprenticeship situation where part of someone’s study would be incorporated into professional work.
Part of its curriculum, practical, hands on, employment, with designated “time off” for studies.
For example, in Engineering, Science, Medicine, but also medical research and science.
But, not enough is currently focused on training ancillary staff like nurses, hospital orderlies, para-medicals for emergency first response teams, carers for children, the elderly, trauma psychologists, etc
Many argue that there are already too many lawyers, and in a number of countries, there is overabundance of doctors.
In places like Australia, for example, where most medical graduates seek to practice in the large cities, there are already doctors by the dozen!
Authorities are now looking at making it mandatory to initially send new doctors into country areas of this vast country, where there is an acute shortage.
Many, it is hoped, will stay afterwards.
Incentives are, affordable housing, good educational facilities, little maddening traffic congestion, more opportunity to improve medical skills, in good regional hospitals or in country practices.
Increasingly too, specialist surgeons are also coming to regional hospitals, with good operating facilities, for lifestyle changes, long patient waiting lists, and for other professional reasons.
Bahrain is now more focused on decentralisation, and the scattering of hospitals, is a good thing, particularly if it resolves parking difficulties and traffic congestion, so access to physicians, not just in Salmaniya.
Greater operation from clinics, which go beyond mere consultation for basic “pill popping prescription writing,” and which contain small operating theatres, and recovery wards, are already having a good effect.

winfredpeppinck@gmail.com

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