Healthcare in Pakistan

Healthcare is an area that requires significant focus in Pakistan given the country’s high rate 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 below.

Additionally, doctors and drugs are the 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 medications manufactured and supplied are fake or substandard

-These realities are even more prominent in urban slum areas. Therefore, since the chance of finding qualified doctors and legitimate medication is low in these areas, it makes it even more crucial that quality healthcare provision be made a priority.

 

These dynamics, mostly visible in low-income areas, can have catastrophic implications for families in cases of sudden and serious illnesses.

-8% of the population incurs out-of-pocket (OOP) expenses for healthcare in Pakistan, the largest among regional countries [Source: World Bank]

-High level of OOP expenditure leads to compromise in seeking quality healthcare, education and food provision.

A good health and education system requires investment on all three tiers of primary, secondary and tertiary care. As illustrated in the figure below, 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.