At an international level there are many different ways to measure the quality for a particular country’s healthcare. Each considers different parameters like average life expectancy, infant mortality, accessibility to healthcare services, among others. These indicators are known as healthcare or health indexes.
Several of them are especially well regarded for their methodic analysis. One of the most notable examples is the Bloomberg Global Health Index (BGHI). Bloomberg corporation published this report, a very large entity in gathering information on all sorts of topics related to businesses, health and software.
Naturally, the United Nations (UN) and the World Health Organization (WHO) also have their own indicators. These are way more robust and include a lot of extra documentation with plenty of details.
Let’s take a look at some of this information with respect to Pakistan. This can help us gain perspective of our country’s healthcare quality, weaknesses and strengths.
As we mentioned, the BGHI is one of the most popular health indexes, however, it tends to report mainly the top 50 countries with best healthcare. Pakistan doesn’t feature on the latest report by BGHI, which indicates a lower quality and lower life expectancy (below 85 years old).
The WHO analysis placed Pakistan as number 178 in 2015. It also revealed very high maternal mortality rates, low life expectancy (58 years old) and high overall mortality.
The UN’s human development program placed Pakistan as #146 in 2015.
No matter the index, Pakistan remains consistently as a country with low quality healthcare.
Pakistan’s economy has actually improved in the last few years, however, that is not reflected in the amount of money invested in healthcare.
An overly complex administration and unclear chain of command leaves billions without use and many programs underfunded and ill-equipped.
Life expectancy is severely low. This is a reflection of a great number of health issues like severe parasitic/viral diseases, harsh weather conditions, low access to healthcare and others.
Immunization is also an important element. Vaccination programs are not very common and a large percentage of the population remains vulnerable to diseases eradicated from other parts of the world.
How to Improve Our Healthcare Standards?
We don’t want you to assume we have all the answers. Fixing Pakistan’s healthcare industry is no easy task, but some steps are just necessary in order to improve its citizen’s quality of life.
Corruption within the healthcare industry must be addressed and managed. Too many funds remain without use even when both the government and the needs of the people agree on its implementation.
Pakistan faces a severe lack of trust from the people towards healthcare professionals and the health industry. This causes people to resist looking for formal and adequate care. A more transparent administration and more well-spread health centers should help with this phenomenon.
Create a National Health Insurance program. Although, not popular in some countries, it can be a positive change in Pakistan as it will help the most vulnerable sector of the population.
Perhaps we can create a national ministry for health in order to centralize all the administrative duties and clarify the hierarchy.
Awareness campains related to lifestyle diseases need to be created to deal with: Obesity, heart conditions, type 2 diabetes, among others.