By: Laraib Solangi
As time has progressed, many under-developed countries have worked on their infrastructure to provide better lifestyles to their residents over the years. However, the same cannot be said for Pakistan; many of its residents live below the poverty line with little to no access to routine needs and facilities. One of these basic needs includes health or medical facilities, a fundamental right every human being is entitled to.
Yet, our public healthcare system fails to provide such basic needs to the people, which is an obligation every state needs to fulfill. The government remains oblivious to the health care system’s dismantled infrastructure with paying no heed to the consequences it may entail for the people suffering. It is even more disappointing that the budget for the current year only allocated a minimal amount to the health sector, which was 25 billion rupees as mentioned by The Daily Times in their daily newspaper.
Hindrances obstructing Improvement in Healthcare Sector
Moreover, the health sector’s broken infrastructure is not the only problem that Pakistanis have to face. Such as a major underlying issue in this respective sector is the lack of medical education quality, which produces doctors and medical staff with inadequate knowledge. Public health institutions are not equipped with appropriate and adequate medical training equipment to provide medical staff with the relevant training. Also, this sector requires an extensive amount of research. Yet, Pakistan lacks interest and research orientation in the health sector, due to which we are unable to compete with the fast-paced developing world and an imbalance between the demand and supply of medical professionals.
There is a shortage of medical personnel in Pakistan and a lack of quality of the knowledge they acquire. As mentioned before, our health sector’s infrastructure is not the most reputable. There are no equipped enough personnel or sustained efforts to manage and lead the health sector towards prosperity. Due to no proper planning for strategies and goal plans for all year round, communicable and non-communicable diseases rise every day at a steady rate with no appropriate treatment available in public health institutions.
Besides, there is no maintenance of the regulatory legal framework for the public health sector and the private health sector remains unregulated for its unmatched prices for quality treatment, which not every individual can afford to pay for. Also, there is a lack of awareness for diagnosing various diseases and getting quality treatment for the diagnosed condition. Pakistan does not have access to modern treatment plans and equipment, due to which its residents suffer from losing their lives, whereas the rest of the world progresses based on medical breakthroughs. One of the problems that are given the least importance is the maintenance of sanitation and public disposal of medical waste. It increases the probability of giving birth to pandemics and epidemics and provides breeding grounds for several bacteria and fungi.
Many Pakistanis live below the poverty line, which means that they do not earn enough to access life’s necessities. The public health care system does not have adequate equipment for the respective treatment of diseases, and the private sector adheres to its high prices policy; either way, the people suffer. And most of the time, as a consequence, people end up losing their lives. The state must provide necessary facilities to its residents, including primary healthcare. No citizen should pay the cost of the state’s mismanagement of their lives.
Remedies for Developing the Healthcare Sector
There are numerous ways Pakistan can improve its healthcare sector to provide comfort in times of hardship to its residents. The government can start with its policymakers giving due importance to the healthcare sector by allocating a larger budget for its maintenance and development. It can provide subsidies and tax holidays to suppliers who offer medicines and medical equipment so that the public can avail of treatment at lower costs.
The federal bodies should distribute incentives to encourage research in the health sector to help compete with the international standards of healthcare. Moreover, the government can dispatch adequate medical resources to augment the quality of medical personnel produced in the country and maintain the standards of the treatment provided in public health institutions and enhance diagnosis awareness. Additionally, local health bodies should appoint effective teams to support and lead the health sector towards a better fate and maintain the necessary legal framework for regulating medical laws in both the public and private sectors. The healthcare leaders ought to carry out annual appraisals for quality assurance and quality control for the health sector. Besides, professionals can work on health insurance plans to make them more cost-effective so that the general public can readily afford them.
Suggestions for International Projects
Further, Pakistan could also collaborate and form various partnerships with leading healthcare experts abroad to learn and practice modern medicine to provide advanced healthcare facilities to its residents. This initiative could also involve creating a medical-ambassadors program and inviting healthcare experts from all over the world to Pakistan. This will enable the involved countries to benefit from each other’s way of medical partitioning for the greater good of the people.
Although Pakistan’s healthcare system has been ineffective in providing healthcare facilities to the general public, it does have a lot of potential and room to improve, additionally providing world-class health facilities to its residents in the future. All of this is only possible if the state works relentlessly and diligently for the betterment of the living standards of its locals.