Wednesday, July 13, 2016

In Pakistan, Telemedicine Is Allowing Female Doctors To Return To Work - FASTCOMPANY

by Ben Schiller 
Originally published: July 7. 2016

It's unusual for female doctors to continue working after marriage, causing a lot of unused talent in a country that desperately needs medical care.

It's not unusual for women in Pakistan to become doctors. It is unusual for them to practice after getting married and having kids. Only 14% of qualified female doctors end up working full time, official figures show.

That's a serious problem in a country with a severe lack of medical staff, but now a telemedicine startup is trying to make use of the lost talent. DoctHERS connects stay-at-home doctors with purpose-built clinics in underserved areas, showing how the Internet can break down geographic and cultural obstacles.

"We have a lot of cultural barriers in our country," says Sara Saeed, one of three co-founders. "It's a noble thing [for women] to become a doctor—and you get better marriage proposals if you are a female doctor—but when it comes to doing duty hours, it's not accepted."