We exchanged sms messages and greetings on April Fool’s Day.
There were some interesting discussions regarding the way the managers of Libyan Arab institutions are making their best efforts to try and get some semblance of European style management to be able to get contracts from new companies who will be coming to Libya.
An interesting paper to read and reflect for our Reading group was Aneez Esmail’s “Asian Doctors in the NHS:Service and betrayal”. British Journal of General Practice, October 2007.
The paper has some very interesting insights on the way universal health care delivery in NHS is dependent on work by migrant workers.
Esmail’s paper opened a very interesting concept of indentured labourer which is never applied to such highly skilled professionals as doctors but it has been a significant part of emigration from India for over 100 years.
The Collins dictionary defines “Indenture” as any deed, contract, or sealed agreement between two or more parties.
“ The concept of indentured labourer has never been applied to such highly-skilled professionals as doctors but it has been a significant part of emigration from India for over 100 years. With the end of slavery it was clear that there was still a need for labour in the colonies of Britain and hundreds of thousands of Indian workers were recruited to work in the sugar plantations of the West Indies and on the railways in the African colonies. The reason that there are so many Indians in the West Indies, in South East Asia, and in the East and Southern Africa is because of this indentured labour. Workers were willingly recruited in India with the offer of work, accommodation, food, safe passage, and yet when they arrived they found they were paid such poor wages that they could never afford to pay back the money they borrowed to get there in the first place.
While this is not strictly true of Indian doctors there are similarities with the indentured labourers of the early part of the 20th century. Like their forebears, Asian doctors were tied into the system of the NHS. They left India with the specific aim of obtaining further medical qualifications – to complete a stage in their medical training and careers. As Smith showed so clearly in his survey, over half the migrant doctors were disappointed with their experience of working and studying in this country. So the Asian doctors end up being tied to the UK and the NHS, because returning without fulfilling your aspirations was not an option. They always hoped that they would break out of the cycle but in the end they did not but stayed on and made the most of it. They were indentured to the system.”
William Pickles Lecture by Aneez Esmail. British Journal of General Practice.Oct 2007
As some members of our reading group reflected on the way the managements are ignoring old time workers (Indians, Filipinos, Egyptians, Moroccans who have probably nowhere to go anyway-according to an indifferent management) and going ahead with “Fresh Energy” , most who ran away from the conflict and took no risk, sacrificed nothing and are now trying to make the best out of the uncertain period.
There is a sense of lack of empathy
Empathy- (Collins ) is defined as the power of understanding and imaginatively entering into another person’s feelings.
“That is something you can expect from medical professionals, doctors and nurses,” one experienced practitioner said. “One is not realistic to expect empathy from number-crunching finance managers or project directors.”
“ Do not try to impress us with figures of transfer of hundreds of thousands of Euros from Insurance and management groups. This stress ignores the “Doctor-Patient” relationship which is very important in a medical establishment,” one experienced person countered the tendency of a manager to try and impress people by the “deals” which they are arranging through their “contacts”.
But this is the way the world under Transnational capitalism is organized.
For an earlier perspective see blog
“But the global supply chain linking Guangdong Province (South-East China) to Bentonville Arkansas (Headquarters of Wal-Mart) may well be increasingly fragile one, because the proletarianization of tens of millions of Chinese peasants is unlikely to go smoothly, especially under conditions of authoritarian governance.” doi:10.1017/S0147547906000184
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How indentured are we?
If your stock reply is- I am not indentured, think again. Are you living in denial?
Or are we Fools?
A little of everything, one friend said as we had Turkish salad, Indian Halwa (Prasad of Ram Navmi) and prepared for another day of Indentured labour.