From many decades, engineering profession is very attractive to young people. Significant investments have been made over the past decades to enhance the nations science and engineering work force by broadening participation in engineering or related field. Thanks to those efforts new and emerging engineering and related discipline came out of the box and we have seen in past the boom in education, in the field of Biomedical Engineering. The name described itself a merger of medical and engineering, a multi-disciplinary field and first of its kind which was introduced in 1996 in Pakistan, universities of public and private sector had established modern departments of this hybrid discipline with huge investments.
But with all this efforts, many years has been passed and apparently it looks like there is still lack of procedures and strategies which leads to disappointment and idle to accommodate the graduates of this field on national level. Young people have shown their passion in this Multidisciplinary Engineering and taken admissions, they were employed in a good way, which led to the infusion to the labour market of the huge number of graduates in this field. Now, the decrease of interest is a phenomenon widely observed. At the beginning this phenomenon was not very obvious due to the balloon, which was not specifically filled with qualified and experienced BMEs.
Gone are the days when companies courted perspective employees and offer them good packages with benefits, however, situation is not the same as before. Number of job seekers is higher than jobs available in market not only in Biomedical but also with many other engineering disciplines.
Health sector has already been suffered since couple of decades and we can see it is still the last straw. In my perspective this field is alive due to private sector hospital and companies. If we talk about government hospitals, there is not any portion of accommodation for our BME graduates yet.
Taluka and district hospitals are lacking from short staffs with unequipped environment. People living in rural and villages cannot afford to treat themselves from private sectors and are in misery. In my opinion, the government must take some large-scale steps to recruit competent and knowledgeable BMEs and give them responsibilities to maintain and look after costly equipments, which are installed in government-funded hospitals through huge tenders. Not only BMEs can troubleshoot or repair the equipment but with their specific and comprehensive knowledge on medical equipments, they can be a part of research team, they can assist higher authority to purchase best quality products and proof themselves as valuable assets for government health sectors.
I have observed various students that are submitting application for change of technology in their first years, it is because they know about limited job demands in market and less growth in career as equals to other engineering discipline. This leads to frustration. Today there is no doubt that this situation need decisive action and universities need to be more aggressive and have to fight strongly for the minds and souls of the graduate. Like many semiprivate and private companies organize recruitment test in universities to bring in fresh grads in their team by taking written test as required. Biomedical Engineering suffers from a lack of cogency as a discipline, time is come and this field demands to get attention and I guess deans and chairmen of desired department can play the lead role in this situation.
They can address the companies from Karachi, Lahore and major cities of Pakistan to take a job test and hire recent bachelors also with the help of our respectful deans and chairmans this engineering discipline can also manage to achieve its position on government level. In addition to my view, liaison officer should be appointed in every biomedical engineering department by university to help and support students to get internships in different area of expertise, this liaison officer will be responsible to organize workshops, seminar and symposium by inviting healthcare firms to convey lectures, instruction and trainings on medical equipments in university. This will provide students a boldness, self-confidence and dedication to take responsibilities on their shoulders.
The writer is B.E. Biomedical Engineering. He can be reached at <Engr_balach@hotmail.com>