Health problems in Pakistan are administrated mainly in the private sector today which accounts for approximately 80 per cent of all out-patient visits. The public sector, largely led by the ministry of health, is entrusted with the responsibility of safe provision of medical services to poor patients. It is also responsible for framing health policies at the national level.

Each of the four provinces of Pakistan has its respective health department under the supervision of the health minister of that province controlled by directors and deputy directors.

A number of fatal diseases in Pakistan include malaria, diarrhea, dengue fever, tuberculosis, cancer, HIV/AIDS, hepatitis and last but not the least polio. These diseases are usually controllable but a majority of poor patients cannot afford expensive medication. While many Pakistani doctors have also migrated to other countries due to brain drain, Pakistan’s health care system is inadequate, inefficient and expensive in case of an unregulated private sector.

Poverty, malnutrition and an unequal access to health facilities are factors that attribute to the poor conditions in the health sector.

The ministry of health should arrange, conduct health awareness programmes while an increased number of doctors should be hired to balance the patient-doctor ratio, especially in the public sector.

NIMRA IRFAN Karachi

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