Need for more hospitals in federal capital to facilitate residents.

ISLAMABAD -- Basic health facilities are as inevitable for the human beings as bread and butter and every government across the world ensures healthcare system compatible to its population growth and needs of the people.

Provision of better health facilities is also imperative to create a strong and productive nation as it paves way for a strong economy and invincible defense for any country. Therefore, this area of dispensation occupies central point in the policies of every political party and the government.

But, this compatibility had visibly been affected in our country during recent decades as health facilities could not be expanded on the pace compatible to population growth. This shortfall not only helped mushroom growth of private sector hospitals but also street corner clinics as well as roadside quacks.

Simply taking the example of our capital, a few major hospitals in the government sector were now falling short of capacity to treat the capital city dwellers. Moreover, these hospitals also bear the burden of the populace of Azad Kashmir, Gilgit Baltistan and adjoining areas of Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa provinces.

'The provision of health services especially in rural areas have not been scaled up over the last two decades on the pace it was required,' commented a medical practitioner Dr Saleem Altaf. 'Since Islamabad's population was rising on a faster pace, therefore incompatible health facilities in public sector provided room to private sector and quacks to grow.'

'Although situation was a bit better in the urban areas of ICT only due to quality private sector hospitals. But, these facilities are often out of the reach of poor people due to hefty charges,' he said pleading to construct more hospitals in public sector to benefit the poor.

Statistics of 2017 census reveal as 2,006,572 people residing in 906 square kilometer area of the Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT) with an overall population growth rate of 4.91 percent during the inter-censual period (1998-2017).

Population in rural area was counted at 991,747 with an inter-censual rate of 6.95 and in urban areas 1,014,825 with a growth rate of 3.48. Population of the capital particularly in rural areas is also expected to continue increasing on faster pace and 19 health facilities including three RHCs, 15 BHUs and one dispensary under the control of ICT would be quite insufficient to meet healthcare needs of people.

Presently, under the control of the health department...

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