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Express Tribune

Published Date: Aug 6, 2011

EXPLORING A NEW HEALTHCARE SYSTEM FOR PAKISTAN

The health sector in Pakistan has been largely ignored and has therefore failed to deliver to the needs of the people. To highlight issues related to the health sector in the country, a seminar on ‘National Health Care System for Pakistan’, will be held at Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI) on Monday.

Since Pakistan’s creation, investment on health has never risen above 1 per cent of the Gross Domestic Product, according to a SDPI press handout. Not much progress seems to have been made since independence, as can be seen by the expenditure on health of just Rs0.35 per person per day. Health indicators demonstrate a poorer state of health in Pakistan today than any part of the world with the exception of Africa, the handout stated.

The seminar seeks to explore the vision of a new National Health Care System for Pakistan (NHSP). The NHSP is envisioned to be completely autonomous with a plan for stewardship, provision of health care services, and resource generation.

The governance structure of the NHSP will help empower health professionals in decision making. The most important feature of the system would be the ground-breaking resource generation plan. The plan would involve each citizen of Pakistan and aim to accumulate Rs324 billion annually.

This new reservoir of resources along with the existing resource heads would help reduce the financial barrier to universal health care delivery and could possibly provide financial risk protection.

Under the NHSP plan, population-based distribution of the health care facilities would be the proposed strategy to attain the “health for all” goal and to address the rural urban disparities, inadequacy and other barriers to health care delivery. A comprehensive health unit would be established for each subset of the population.