Bringing Pakistan’s crippled medical system back to life

Mahrukh Naeem

Pakistan’s medical infrastructure is in poor condition. For the last seventy years, previous governments have ignored this crucial issue. Improving this ill system requires immediate action.
Prime Minister Imran Khan’s government is conscious for the requirements and significance of Pakistan’s healthcare industry and looks ready to take action on them. Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek e Insaaf campaigned on a vow to totally overhaul the system of healthcare. Speaking to senior media recently, the Prime Minister underlined his commitment to providing quality health care to all Pakistanis.
Yet there are many obstacles which need to be conquered in order to achieve this. The biggest issue affecting Pakistan’s health is a lack of proper money. The nation’s inadequate fiscal commitment for health does not allow it to adequately handle the requirements of nearly 200 million people.
According to the Economic Survey 2017-18, the total health expenditures of the government at large and states in the previous fiscal year were Rs 384.57 billion. This amounts to just over one percent of the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP). A little budget severely limits the breadth of public-sector medical services, who get utilised by a large portion of Pakistanis.
There are now 1211 public sector hospitals in the nation, as well as 5508 basic health units and 676 rural health facilities. There is one doctor for every 957 individuals and one bed for every 1,580 residents. Government-run hospitals are not only overcrowded, understaffed, and underequipped, but they also lack necessary monitoring and control from the appropriate authorities. Second, health care in the private sector is prohibitively costly and of uncertain quality. Private hospitals serve the majority of the country’s wealthy and middle-class residents. However, in the lack of any regulatory framework, the healthcare offered in these institutions falls short of expectations.
Pakistan lacks proper health-care data as well as a framework for obtaining it. According to a global study performed by the International Consortium of investigative journalists, improper human body transplants have caused numerous people worldwide to suffer and die.
The writer is the student of journalism department Punjab University Lahore.
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