Byline: S. Kamal Hayder Kazmi
Some government officials say that enhancing health and nutrition of the population is the priority agenda of the present government of Pakistan with increased focus on revamping and strengthening primary and secondary healthcare facilities. Fundamental health indicators to some extent are enhancing but the pace of progress is slow. The spending on health has been less than one percent of GDP since decades. This is one of the key structural challenges. In terms of HDI, statistics showed that Pakistan' position is 150 out of 189 countries in 2017. Some slight improvement has been recorded, as during 2012-13, 45 percent of children were underdeveloped which dropped to 38 percent during 2017-18. Childhood wasting fell slightly from 11 percent to 7 percent, while the prevalence of underweight children fell from 30 percent to 23 percent. Childhood mortality rates have fallen since 1990.
The officials also recorded that infant mortality has fallen from 86 deaths per 1,000 live births in 1990 to 61.2 in 2017. During the same time period, under-5 mortality has markedly decreased from 112 to 74 deaths per 1,000 live births. Neonatal mortality decreased from 55 in 2012 to 42 deaths per 1,000 live births.
Government of Sindh
The Government of Sindh allocated Rs 96.38 billion for health sector in the budget for FY2019. The government has allocated Rs. 12.50 billion for 2018-19 for development of health sector. It envisaged new schemes of health sector under the provision of Rs 50 billion earmarked separately as block allocation in ADP 2018-19. Sindh Government has completed 68 new uplift schemes of Rs 5.12 billion, including RHCs, Trauma-cum-Emergency Centres and construction of warehouses at all divisional head quarters for cold storage facility; four schemes of up-gradation of RHC, to THQ Hospitals and establishment of Cancer Ward at Nuclear Institute of Medicine and Radiotherapy (NIMRA), Jamshoro at the cost of Rs 1.086 billion.
Government of Punjab
The economic survey of Pakistan showed that the Government of Punjab has aggressively working on strengthening the primary and secondary level of healthcare. The priority of the Government of Punjab has moved to the strengthening preventive and promotive pillars of primary health care to enhance the healthcare service delivery. There is a drastic surge of health budget on strengthening of primary and secondary healthcare which is increased by 81 percent i.e. from Rs. 62...