Healthcare in Pakistan
Healthcare is an area that requires significant focus in Pakistan given the country’s high rates of infant and maternal mortality:
- Infant mortality rate for children under the age of 5 is 81 for every 1,000 live births [Source : World Bank]
- Maternal mortality rate is 178 per every 100,000 women [Source : World Bank]
A comparison of infant and maternal mortality rates of Pakistan against other regional countries is shown on the right.
Additionally, doctors and drugs are main challenges in quality assurance.
- Estimated number of registered doctors – 177, 289 [Source : Pakistan Medical & Dental Council]
- Estimated number of unregistered doctors is more than 200,000, therefore the chances of finding a qualified doctor is around 53%
- A CNN report estimates that 45 – 50% of the medicines are fake or substandard
- These realities are even more prominent in an urban slum therefore, chances of finding a qualified doctor and legitimate medicine further reduced
These dynamics, mostly visible in low-income areas can have catastrophic implications for families in cases of sudden illnesses:
- 8% of the population incurs out-of-pocket (OPP) expenses for healthcare in Pakistan, the largest among regional countries [Source: World Bank]
- High level of OOP expenditure leads to compromises in healthcare, education and food provision
Good health and education systems require investments in all three categories – tertiary, secondary and primary. As illustrated in the figure on the right, there is a presence of centers of excellence in both health and education at tertiary and secondary levels. There are large scale quality systems operating at the primary level in education; however, in primary healthcare there is an absolute vacuum as there is no large-scale quality-managed network present. It is critical that this vacuum is filled particularly in low income areas to serve as a robust first port of call. This is exactly what SINA aims to achieve.