Hello, hello, after last week I skipped the English Friday, today I want to post an answer for BEC’s – EF#31 Challenge – Undervalued or Overvalued. This challenge is about putting your mind into words, your own opinion about the following quote:
Some people feel that certain workers like nurses, doctors and teachers are undervalued and should be paid more, especially when other people like entertainers (e.g. film stars, pop musicians or sports stars) are paid huge sums of money that are out of proportion to the importance of the work that they do.
Opinion: Undervalued Or Overvalued
The quote was presented by one of the admins of BEC two weeks ago (you can read the challenge here) taken from IELTS Essay. Let’s see, hmmm…
It was said that certain workers such as nurses, doctors and teachers are undervalued and should be paid more compared to entertainers. I agree with the notion. Especially in here, in Indonesia, some professions are considered as a second layer compared to the entertainers.
I’ve heard about a singer who got paid for one hour show for about 30 million Rupiahs. If we compared to the doctors, I was working in hospital before in Cirebon, the rate was about 75 thousand Rupiahs for one consultations. Each day, the doctor work for about 3 hours and had roughly 20-30 patients (max). So the total he took for one day was around 1,5 – 2,25 million Rupiahs for 3 hours work.
Really? Are They Really Undervalued?
In terms of payment per hour, in example above, clearly those doctors are underpaid a.k.a. undervalued. A singer (one of entertainers) got 30 mill per hour but a doctor only got 2 mill per 3 hours. So they DO UNDERVALUED.
Read also: Value of Your Time (written in Indonesian)
Like I said above, I am agreeing the notion that those professions are undervalued but only in terms of money per hours – compared to the entertainers. But let us see again behind the scene of those two.
A Singer Performance
When an agency or a company or whatever whom booked a singer or any other performers, they tend to have things asked to the singers or any other entertainers to achieve. For instance, when a singer perform in one hour show in television, they are supposedly bring audiences to watch the show.
What if that singer and his/her management unable to attract people to watch? Next time – the singer for sure – will be paid less. The television network has their own rating to say this particular person paid XXX amount of money or paid less.
If the singer can’t attract audience to watch, the show ratings drop and no company would pay for the commercial breaks. No money flowing in – less money flowing out. Thus, the singer actually paid for his/her performance and also the audiences. If he/she can’t keep up with it… bye bye baby.
If we talk about doctor, they do consultations, giving prescription for the illness and done. No “extra” audience asked by the hospital for that particular doctor, even though usually a well-known doctor has his/her own “audiences”. For that kind of doctor, believe me – hospital would pay more.
And the common practice in here in Indonesia (I don’t know whether this also applied for abroad or not), a doctor also get commission or a fee for the prescriptions (either from the hospital or from the drug manufacturers).
Also, one thing for sure, some doctors (especially those who permanently work in one hospital) are receiving monthly salary also, CMIIW. And their job is actually an on going basis compared to the entertainers.
Entertainers who get paid more for one show, could not have any other job for the rest of the week (even for the whole month), but doctors? They still have it.
So, do doctors are really underpaid or not? Many considerations need to be put in the statement above. It is not just comparing two kinds of professions and then say: A is undervalued or overvalued compared to B. Yes, both has one thing in common, which is SERVICES, and actually in my opinion, this is the root of the problem.
Read also: About Service (written in Indonesian)
Who can measure the right amount of money to be paid for one kind of services? We don’t need to compare between two different kind of professions. For instance, actually, if we compared one doctor with other doctors, they have different rate for the services themselves right?
And when we talk about services, many professions that provide services paid lesser than those professions mentioned in the statement. How much do you pay for a barber? For a helper in restaurant? Waiter, even for the cleaning service boy or girl at your office? Do they considered undervalued or overvalued?