KARACHI - The Pakistan Medical Association (PMA) has demanded of the government to revamp healthcare delivery in the country.

A PMA statement here Monday said the PMA has always offered recommendations and also given a charter of demands to the government to improve the healthcare system in Pakistan but unfortunately our such demands always fall on deaf ear as nothing was changed in healthcare sector during the year 2017. Instead of any improvement many things went from bad to worse.

Secretary General, Pakistan Medical Association (Centre), Dr SM Qaisar Sajjad said our healthcare delivery system in the year 2017 further deteriorated and has failed to facilitate the poor masses of Pakistan. He said there is lack of facilities in our hospitals from treatment to cleanliness. He said poor sanitary conditions and overflowing sewerage water around many government hospitals can be seen in different parts of the country. Even potable water is not available in some hospitals. These unhygienic conditions are adding to the miseries of patients.

He said mosquitoes, house flies and bed bugs are found in and around the hospitals that cause diseases like malaria, chikungunya, dengue, diarrhea, etc. Even this year we were not able control the preventable diseases. Waterborne diseases remained on the rise. Oral Cancer could not be controlled because we failed to ban the import of beetle nut. Proper hospital waste management processes have not been adopted anywhere in the country. All this is increasing the burden of diseases in Pakistan.

He further said basic facilities for patients and attendants did not show any improvement in government hospitals. One can see so many medical stores and laboratories running around the public sector hospitals, because these hospitals are not providing these facilities to their patients.  

The PMA leader said according to the WHO recommendations, the health budget of any country should at least be 6% of the national GDP. In our case, the health budget, despite repeated PMA pleas and reminders to the government, has remained less than 1%. We could not carry out an affective vaccination/immunization program with honesty, commitment and professionalism during 2017; otherwise, we could have eradicated many diseases. Even after having dozens of polio rounds, we were not able to achieve the goal of a polio-free Pakistan during 2017.

Qaisar Sajjad said the PMA believes that proper planning, political will, honesty, increase of health budget and its proper allocation and above all consolidated preventive measures can improve the health delivery system in 2018. He said the PMA is always ready to help and support the federal and provincial governments in this regard.