The public sector, largely led by the ministry of health, is entrusted with the responsibility of safe provision of medical services to the poor patients. It is also responsible for framing health policies at the national level. Each of the four provinces of Pakistan has its respective health department, under the supervision of the health minister of that province, controlled by directors and deputy directors all highly paid and very qualified.

Pakistan faces a number of fatal diseases, such as malaria, dengue fever, tuberculosis, cancer, HIV/AIDS, hepatitis and last but not least Polio. These diseases are usually controllable, but a majority of poor patients cannot afford expensive medication. The health ministry needs to divert more money and medicines to rural area health centers, rather than have big fish with large salaries sitting in high posts doing nothing at the top level; there should be accountability for any death due to these diseases.

Poverty, malnutrition, lack of clean water and an unequal access to health facilities are factors that attribute to the poor health conditions. The ministry of health should conduct health awareness programs, hire more doctors on better salaries who are ready to serve in far flung areas, all this would make a huge difference.

MOEED UR REHMAN,

Karachi, May 8.