Major Health Sector Challenges in Pakistan

Mahrukh Naeem

With increased economic pressure and a shortage of resources, Pakistan’s healthcare system is failing day by day. Despite significant progress over the last few decades, Pakistan has a high newborn and maternal mortality rate. Let us discuss some topics to better understand the major difficulties confronting Pakistan’s health sector. According to Transparency International surveys, health care is one of the most corrupt sectors in Pakistan; overall polls reveal that the majority of Pakistanis are unsatisfied with the health services they receive.
Lack of Resources: Due to the insufficient functioning of Basics Health Units (BHUs) and Rural Health Centres (RHCs), a large number of people are reluctant to use the wellness system’s healthcare services, and as a result, rural people are redirected to tertiary care facilities. The distance between health care facilities, as well as a lack of mobility choices due to poor road conditions, limit their access to these services. Furthermore, the public sector in Pakistan has been determined to be underutilised due to a lack of human resources, a lack of health education, a lack of openness, and barriers due to linguistic and cultural differences. Attending BHUs is a nightmare for many people due to the aforementioned reasons.
Bad Medical Facilities: A few of the reasons for Pakistan’s healthcare system’s demise is a lack of adequate healthcare infrastructure. This department lacks effective policy development and planning. As a result, citizens have access to insufficient healthcare facilities. A typical government hospital does not have enough doctors, nurses, and personnel. Such hospitals are typically congested since they serve an extensive population in the surrounding area. They lack beds (due to an overflow of patients).
Hospitals are filthy and unsanitary, they lack safety medical treatment is not spoken of, drugs and consumables are frequently in shortage, staff members may be fraudulent and demand bribes from patients, and they may even lack essential utilities like a constant supply of water, power, and fuel. Their ambulances may be unavailable due to malfunctions or corruption, forcing patients to fend for themselves.
Political and higher-level corruption Corruption is one of the causes of Pakistan’s inadequate health-care system. Corruption has made resources in hospitals and other healthcare facilities unavailable.
Lack of Educational Healthcare Specialists: Despite the fact that a large number of students graduate each year, there is still a shortage of educated and professional persons in Pakistan’s health industry. The biggest cause is a lack of seats in the public sector, which makes it difficult for educated people to come and serve the country. Another factor for the scarcity of educated health professionals in Pakistan is that many health professionals study and work in other countries. This is a significant loss for Pakistan’s health sector.
In the absence of public health insurance, people are obliged to seek treatment from private health care providers. The purpose of private health care facilities is profit. There is a clear demand-supply imbalance, and they use the limited supply to enhance their own pricing. As a result, medical care at a private hospital may be much more expensive than therapy in a public hospital. However, because a large proportion of our population lacks health insurance, they must pay for their own treatment. As a result, many people cannot afford health care.
High Obtained Product Prices: Although Pakistan has one of the largest pharmaceutical businesses, many medicines must be imported from other nations. Similarly, many surgical and other medical equipment is imported from foreign countries. As a result, more funding is required to meet the demand for these imported products. However, due to a lack of resources and increasing economic pressures, Pakistan’s health sector is unable to meet the demand for these products, which are essential for citizens’ basic needs. The same is true for drugs imported from other nations.
Lack of Awareness: People who live in cities are more privileged and have access to basic health care. Similarly, they are well informed about health issues. However, the situation in rural areas is rather different. People in rural locations are often unaware of immunisations, treatments, precautions, and preventions for a variety of health conditions. This puts further strain on Pakistan’s health-care system. As a result, it is critical to begin educating rural residents and assisting them in obtaining basic health care.
Can Pakistan’s Health Sector Be Improved?
The primary goal of enhancing Pakistan’s health-care industry is to increase life quality and lower the public mortality rate. To establish a better health sector in Pakistan, the Pakistani government and private sectors should focus on these topics.
Encouraging medical device innovation and manufacturing in Pakistan.
Increased funding for medical research.
Upskilling current workers and improving medical, nursing, and technical education
Health-care coverage provided by the government
Public awareness campaigns
To control corruption, hospitals and other health departments must be checked and balanced.
International collaborations are also possible.
The writer is the student of department of journalism 8 semester Punjab University Lahore.
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