Resource Mobilization for Pakistan’s Health Care: Myth or Reality? (PB-20)

Resource Mobilization for Pakistan’s Health Care: Myth or Reality? (PB-20)

Publication details

  • Wednesday | 02 Mar, 2005
  • Shafqat Shehzad
  • Policy Briefs/Papers
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Dr. Shafqat Shehzad

2005

Introduction

The policy brief highlights the importance of exploring alternative resource mobilization strategies for Pakistan’s health care. The need arises because the conventional methods of health care financing through tax revenues have failed to meet the health care needs of all, resulting in differential access to health care facilities by different income groups. Whereas, in many developed countries, universal health coverage and financial protection against the cost of illnesses is almost complete, in the developing countries, access and utilization of health care is low and selective. For Pakistan to expand its access to health care for all, alternative resource mobilization strategies need to be developed and proposed. Pakistan needs to learn from the experience of other countries, because the process of generating extra resources for health care has resulted in mixed experiences for different countries. Pakistan needs to start the process with caution, not blindly importing models of health care financing, but designing policies that are suitable for its own socio-economic context.

The policy brief presents evidence on current practices of Pakistan's health care finance and delivery, and suggests ways through which alternative resource mobilization strategies can be proposed. Some popular methods of health care financing being practiced in other countries are community financing, user fees, health insurance, and assistance from donors. However, resources can also be saved from wasteful and ineffective uses of health technology (services, programs and procedures) that may result in improving efficiency of existing health care services. Reallocation of resources within the health sector can therefore, turn out to be cost effective. The policy brief discusses a criteria for choosing a financing system that takes into account factors like ease of use of the system, revenue generating ability, effects on service provision, and community participation in the socio-economic context of Pakistan.