Public health system improved during 2016-17: Economic Survey

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Image Credits: Pakistan Medical Research Organization

According to an Economic Survey of Pakistan 2016-17 announced by Minister for Finance, Revenue and Economic Affairs Muhammad Ishaq Dar in a press conference here Thursday revealed that the number of doctors, dentist and nurses have increased.The public health activities have persistently increased in terms of physical infrastructure and workforce during year 2016-17.

The availability of one doctor, dentist, nurse and one hospital bed versus population has also improved. The public health sector services were provided at federal, provincial
and district levels through a well established network of rural health centers, basic health
units, dispensaries, district and tehsil head quarter hospitals and allied medical professionals.

The national immunization program is providing free of cost vaccine facility to every Pakistani child and steps are being taken to arrest the spread of polio. It said that Prime Minister’s Health Program has been launched to provide free treatment of chronic diseases like cancer, burns, diabetes and cardiovascular diseases etc. Ministry of National Health Services, Regulations and Coordination (NHSRC) is effectively undertaking the federal health functions and inter provincial-coordination.

It said that a Drug Regulatory Authority of Pakistan (DRAP) has been established in the domain of Ministry of National Health Services to ensure safety, quality and affordability of medicines in the country. A Drug Pricing Policy 2015 has been announced to devise a transparent mechanism for fixation and price adjustment.

It said that the federal government was also implementing programs such as National Maternal and Child Health Program, Malaria, TB and HIV/Aids Control Program. These programs have made significant impact to improve health of people. Immunization coverage has been increased and polio reported cases have been reduced.

Deaths from tuberculosis have been declining while child and maternal mortality rates since 2007 continued to improve. It said that Early Childhood Development (ECD) task force was established to provide a high level platform for policy/strategic framework, planning,
coordination and exchange of information.

It said that in addition to Universal Salt Iodisation (USI) Program in 110 districts through Public Private Partnership, Food Fortification Program in Pakistan (FFP) is going to start implementation with the aim to support national efforts to improve the nutrition situation in the country. It said that Benazir Income Support Program (BISP) served 5.42 million
beneficiaries during 2016-17 and continues as effective Safety Net Measure by providing cash transfer to the poor segments of the society.