We do not find the common people much satisfied with the health policies of our different governments. They complain that medical facilities for them in government hospitals and dispensaries are very meager and inadequate (not enough and proper).
We are concerned with the public or government-provided health facilities here as the private sector is much too expensive and beyond the reach of the common people. We have a wide network of government health services in the country, controlled by the ministries of health. The national budget has allocations (funds) for government hospitals and clinics though they are far from enough. Thousands of doctors and nurses are in government employment to treat ill people, but the right treatment is not properly provided.
One of the major causes that hinder proper medical treatment for the common people is the tremendously high rate of birth. The population is increasing so fast that the available doctors, nurses, medicines and facilities in government hospitals cannot meet the public requirements.
Then the funds allocated (given officially) to the hospitals are often misused. The medicines purchased for poor patients are sold by the corrupt staff to medical stores outside the hospitals or taken away for personal use. The doctors either do not attend to patients properly because of the patients’ large number or prefer to attend to the selected few at their private clinics for heavy fees. The nurses and other paramedical staff (workers who are not doctors or nurses) do not attend to patients of ordinary means or they say they cannot be of many services to huge groups that flock to public hospitals in the hope of gaining their lost health.
The availability of public health services can be much better on some conditions. Firstly, the population growth should be checked suitably so that fewer people visit the government hospital for treatment. Secondly, the government should earmark (set aside) sizeable funds for particular hospitals so that modern medical equipment, latest medicines and expert advice of doctors and specialists are available according to the needs. Thirdly, the different wards in government hospitals should be expanded to accommodate a higher number of patients with the provision of suitable living and eating facilities. Thirdly, there should be a public health insurance service. The contributions to this service should be had from industrialists, businesspersons, rich landowners, and all those people whose income is more than 5. lac rupees per year. The government should contribute a major share to this joint fund. Poor patients should be provided enough money from this fund for their medical treatment and health care.
A national debate on health care in Pakistan should be started in the mass media for the best ways of providing medical treatment of a high order to the masses.