Deficiencies in the health sector of Pakistan

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Iram Farooq Rana
The famous axiom “health is wealth” reflects the significance of a healthy life. If a person possesses all the blessings of life but not health then all the blessings lost its charm. For the progress and prosperity of any nation, health is immensely necessary. Among the basic rights of the subjects, to provide basic facilities regarding health is one of the major duties of the government. It is sad to mention that all the previous governments have badly failed in delivering the basic health facilities to the public. It is quite alarming that Pakistan ranks 154 among 195 countries in terms of quality and accessibility of healthcare.
Other South Asian countries like India have gotten ranks of 145, China 48, Srilanka 71, Bangladesh 133 and Bhutan 134. It seems that the health sector doesn’t have any place in the priorities of the government. Pakistan spends only 2% budget on health. Only 25.50 billion rupees have been disbursed for this sector. The question is how the most populated country can resolve the health issues in this little budget? A poor person cannot get health services. Even for admission in government hospitals, a poor person has to wander from pillar to post. Like every institute, the health department is also filled with innumerable problems. Lack of basic facilities is the leading problem. Due to these troubles, people are
devoid of reliable health treatment. 60% of the population is suffering from poverty and cannot afford the huge expenses of private hospitals and unfortunately, public hospitals are cluttered with patients. Therefore, they have to wait for months in order to get treatment which is a highly endurable task.

Doctors are considered the rescuer of patients’ lives but sadly the profession has now become a business. Doctors prefer to open their private hospitals and clinics to forge more money. Corruption also hovers in this sector. Ghost staff, extinction of wanted medicines like in COVID-19 days, the most wanted medicines disappeared or their rates became high, the appearance of forfeited medicines in the market.