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Dawn

Published Date: Apr 4, 2013

PTI vows to improve health sector

The
Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) has a comprehensive plan to make Pakistan a
welfare state, and the focus of this plan is on outreach programmes and a
paradigm shift in the health sector.

This
was discussed at a seminar titled ‘Relevance of Manifestos in Political
Dynamics of Pakistan,’ held here Wednesday to discuss PTI’s policies.

The
event, organised by Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI), was the
second in the series of seminars planned to bring manifestos of political
parties into discussion.

It
also discusses the impact of these manifestos on electorates in the run up to
the general elections.

Giving
introductory remarks, Dr. Abid Q. Suleri Executive Director SDPI said the event
had been organised after the observation that the current scenario lacks
issue-based debates among political parties.

“The
PTI has a plan of 5 years that would gradually increase public health funding
from 0.8pc of GDP to 2.6pc annually, resulting in an increase from the current
expenditure of Rs165 billion to Rs1,260 billion,”  a participant in the
seminar said.

The
five point health agenda of PTI, focused on policy shift from curative to
preventive regime, was presented by Dr Humayun Mohammad, Head of International
Chapter PTI.

The
main feature of the policy was a complete decentralisation and
de-politicisation of the health department, and a special priority on primary
healthcare, mother and child care and school health programmes.

Dr
Humayun Mohammad announced the creation of a ‘Health Equity Fund’ to pay for
the treatment of catastrophic illnesses of the poor.

Talking
about the use of technology, he said the PTI would develop a reliable and
integrated ‘health information system’ for evidence based planning and decision
making.

Khalid
Jamil, Executive Director of Journalist for Democracy and Human Rights (JDHR)
raised a question about the huge resources required for the implementation of
education and health policies.

“These
gigantic allocations are commendable, but resource mobilisation to materialise
these claims seems to be difficult and needs careful reconsideration,” he said.