The healthcare system in the public sector is very poor and disappointing whereas private hospitals expenditures are intolerable. At present, our population is about 200 million, most of which is facing miserable situation in public sector hospitals. 

With the promulgation of the 18th constitutional amendment and the 7th National Finance Commission Award, health has now become a provincial subject. The National Health Policy 2009 is no longer relevant in the light of the organisational reforms post-2010. At present, there is no National Health Policy to guide the provinces, especially the smaller provinces which are badly in need of coherent a National agenda for health, in view of social development. It is pertinent to point out that healthcare cannot be improved without budgetary allocation in accordance to the demand. The current level of expenditure is allocated about 2.4% of GDP. It clearly implies that public health goods such as health facilities and medicines are in short supply. Public expenditure in Pakistan on health is less than that of neighbouring countries. Whereas, WHO (World Health Organisation) has recommended allocating 6% of the GDP to improve the country’s deteriorating health conditions. 

It is ironic that the federal government did not give any attention for the purpose in the federal budget 2016-2017. In spite of Prime Minister’s program for prevention of various diseases, the Federal Government this year too announced a small amount allocated . 

FARYAL HANIF GORAYA,  

Lahore, August 27.