(Serbessa, K ) April 9th, 2019
Until recent years, Ethiopian medical doctors are known universally as well trained and dedicated professionals. The three medical schools ( Addis Ababa, Gonder and Jimma) select the brightest and the most academically able young people in Ethiopia who distinguish in their matriculation with great and very great distinctions to study medicine. The top cream of every secondary school, less than 1 % goes to this competitive field to study rigorous and regimented science and art for 6-7 years and additional 3-4 more years for specialization.
Most Ethiopian children and young people aspire when they grow up to be medical doctors; Teachers at school motivate young people to this great noble profession. Due to only few places were available, the top brightest daughters and sons of Ethiopia goes to these great field of science, art and melted away by the abuse of their political masters and their ill deeds.
Ethiopian doctors are one of the least paid medical professionals in the world. Most of these young doctors live their private life under desperate condition to serve the Ethiopian people. They work long hours with enormous number of case load in resource limited health facilities. They save the life of very ill child, pregnant mother, traumatised fellow human being and elderly people affected by illness and disease. They expose their life under dire condition to save the life of fellow human beings.
These doctors material life is by far inferior to their fellow professionals (engineers, lawyers etc). The only pride they get was personal satisfaction for saving their patients life and also the respect the people give to them and the profession.
They are managed by less educated political appointed cadres who have no concept about health service provision and the profession itself except personally benefiting from the budget and looting.
After serving many years, some medical doctors couldn’t tolerate the financial, managerial, political abuse and leave to another country to better their professional and personal life. There are many Ethiopian doctors in USA, southern part of Africa, some in Europe and Australia. Despite being away, most of these diasporas doctors attempt to help their fellow doctors and medical students in Ethiopia with materials they need for studies and better the profession. Some organise medical tour with fellow American or European colleague doctors to help Ethiopians in certain area like rare specialised science and procedures ( paediatric or cardiac or ophthalmic surgery, mental health etc). They also share their expertise and teach during leave time to the medical schools they were trained at.
Some doctors leave from the state health system and engage in private health care to better their private live in Ethiopia as the state payment don’t support when they form family or have other responsibilities. Very few may engage more of business part of medicine than humanity or ethics. They are not the real representative of the majority Ethiopian doctors.
Ethiopian rulers in the last 28 years, specially the Prime minsters are anti-medical doctors. The real reason is not clear, it could be personal, organizational or political.
The late Meles Zenawi, who abandoned medical school to join the TPLF bandits often ignore or minimise or belittle Ethiopian medical doctors role in Ethiopia. At one time he was even considering not to train medical doctors. While he, his familie members and friends enjoy best health care abroad, he deny Ethiopians to be seen by their own medical doctors.
Meles could have experienced inferiority complex for not completing his study. he abandoned his study ( noble purpose to save human life) to the struggle/war, bandit life ( to kill, destroy and assume power). People who knew him personally and also in public observed his distaste to medical doctors and the profession.
Hailemariam Deslagne, the Prime minster after Meles also expressed at one interview, he abandoned his desire of studying medicine after short experience of seeing or caring a relative of his who was an in patient at Tikur Ambessa Hospital.
He was used as tool by his masters and at last he left the post when he is longer able to manage it.
The current prime minster Abiy Ahmed who was a child solder, later intelligence officer and political operatives with in the brutal TPLF led EPRDF regime is not different on his view and opinion towards Ethiopian medical doctors. The medical doctors representative (junior and senior doctors) from all over the country met him recently on 3rd May 2019 to discuss about the appalling condition they are working, training in the new medical schools ( created by TPLF/EPRDF without proper feasible study and resources) and in general the health service with in the country.
He belittled them, as his master the late Meles Zenawi, he despised them. He tried to lecture them about the profession,medical science and ethics. He tried to steal the only pride these medical doctors have ( Respect for them and profession). It was bemusing to see him to lecture them as if they are they are his OPDO cadres. It was sad, sad situation. He revealed his inferiority complex, negative outlook towards the profession and professionals.
Why Abiy behaved in such way? He is “considered” the most educated of Ethiopian leader to assume premiership (Phd Holder) in the last 40 years, but he is still raw or green or hostile. Hope his academic credential is not questionable. Has he dreamed to be medical doctor and failed? We don’t know. Why that much hate towards medical doctors?
People who observed Abiy Ahmed objectively in the last one year noted his two way of approach towards his audience. The polite sweet way and street smart approach.
Compared to his colleagues, Abiy has gained undeserving applause and clap from Ethiopians and foreigners beyond his contribution or initiative towards the “reform” we see in Ethiopia . As the majority of Ethiopians were in desperate oppressive systems, any one who is in the front seat or announcer gets the attention for the “relief” measure the regime taken in terms of releasing prisoners, inviting political parties, making peace with Eritrea etc. All these measures were not Abiy’s bold personal initiatives but these were agreed and decided by the executive members of EPRDF party he chairs. The EPRDF and Abiy didn’t want to bring this changes by themselves but the peaceful struggle of Ethiopians and specially the youth forced them to do so. It is survival means for the regime, a coping means! They have reached to stage the regime was to be flooded and be out of action by the popular uprising all over the country. The regime metamorphosis and reform itself to survive with those relief solutions. That is what happening in Ethiopia. It neither genuine nor radical change that the people aspired to achieve by dismantling the divide and rule Policy of TPLF/EPRDF once and for all.
Abiy is good orator and easily capture attention. He knows his audience well and speak sweet words to the mass. He took the lion share of the applause and credit though the real change agent are the Ethiopian youth.
Had it not been for the relief measure the regime took, by these time TPLF/EPRDF would have been history and wouldn’t exist as the flood was to take them towards the hell. Once again vicious political circus presenting it self with sweet talk and do nothing approach.
As we have noted, the public euphoria didn’t last long. What he preaches and what is the reality on the ground is different. Most of us trusted and believed what he preached and gave him support. The true picture of PM Abiy and his regime is now visible. Under his watch, 4 millions of Ethiopians are displaced, thousands are killed and billions of property destroyed. Under his watch ethnic hate agenda and propaganda dominated Ethiopia; He rules the country in coordination with these agents. Citizenship based political atmosphere is dissipated. He failed to use the public support he received in the early days of his regime for good and new Ethiopia. He failed to implement reconciliation, justice, forgiveness, people to people and political parties dialogue for better Ethiopia.
The displacement and ethnic clash was never seen to this extent in modern Ethiopia even in 27 years of TPLF.EPRDF brutal regime. Abiy and his friends facilitated and gave green light for armed OLF to reign in Ethiopia, cause terror and mayhem while disarming other oppositions. Abiy changed the state structure for his sake and adulation instead of real, genuine and functioning organs.
People who observed Abiy Ahmed’s behaviour objectively in the last one year noted his two way of approach towards his audience. The sweet polite and street smart. approach.
He uses his street smart (ብልጣ ብልጥነት- አጉል አራዳናት) approach when he is confronted by potential opponents to make them his friend or induce fear among them. His silly jokes, too friendly approach, appeasement, sweet talk , disrespect, division are some of his mischievous tools. If you noted when he travelled to North America, he made Tamagne Beyne surrender to him by saying ( he doesn’t pick his phone when I call him, ስልክ ብደውል አልነሳ አለኝ; ኮራብኝ፤ ጎንደሬ ስለሆነ ነው); he joked on Abebe Gelaw’s weight to look too friendly, he single handily selected Sisiay Agena as best journalist in ESAT to divide the journalists. He outsmarted and bemused Professor Al Marim that PM came to Los Angles mainly to see Al Mariam. These people who are known in their Anti-EPRDF struggle easily surrendered to him.
When confronted by much smarter people like Eskinder Ngea, he started to lose his temper, threatens war terror. When OLF created mayhem in the country, he didn’t utter any single ward.
He has done similar things against the smartest and bright people (Ethiopian Medical doctors) who politely confronted him morally, intellectually and professionally. As street smart, he used his approach of belittling, disrespecting and dividing them to induce fear and dissipate their non ethnic based peaceful humanitarian quest.
Unless confronted and forced towards good direction, he could led the country potentially to painful disasters. He is developing benevolent narcissistic and megalomaniac traits as the days pass. He might lose his insight and send us to the usual or more dangerous era or abyss. We need to tell him the truth, confront him and treat his losing insight while standing for more human Ethiopia.
Ethiopian medical doctors, do not be demoralised by Abiy’s remark. He is not different from past regime leaders, the same thing. The only difference is he invited you, assembled you and abused you. The saddest part is he tried to steal the pride of your life time, The Respect you and the profession earned from Ethiopians all over the land.
Do what you can do to the poor Ethiopian people. Do struggle peacefully for what is right for the profession and your patients. It is only God and your consciences that can judge you; not politicians who are corrupt and street smarts up on you.