Less facilities in hospitals of rural areas
Health sector in Pakistan has been struggling for many years. Health delivery system is run by both state and non-state authorities.
People living in urban areas have an easy access to best healthcare facilities whereas, in rural areas, accessibility to proper medical services is difficult.
People either live far away from the clinics/hospitals or they don’t have any such institutes in their areas.
In Pakistan, many efforts have been made to improve the health system but still it is not encouraging.
The main health issues are due to lack of awareness, poor diet, water pollution and hygiene problems leading to communicable and non-communicable diseases.
Poor medical facilities are also resulting in health deterioration of underprivileged people of Pakistan.
Due to the shortage of nurses and doctors in rural areas, every year thousands of children die during birth or if they survive, they suffer from one or more diseases.
The increasing number of heart patients mostly include children suffering from congenital heart defect is alarming.
The mortality rate of women is also high because they are treated by midwives with no professional knowledge.
Pakistan’s population is around 185 million out of which more than 70 million people are living below the poverty line i.e.earning less than $2 a day.
Around 78% of the population is paying for health expenditure out of their pockets which is manageable for upper or middle class but for the lower class, it’s a different story.
With the income of merely 9/10 thousand rupee a month, they have to pay for the food, bills, transport and also for the fees if their children are studying.
On top of that, if any of the family members gets sick, they are left with less or no money to treat them.
There are many government hospitals providing free treatment to poor people but that too is not sufficient.
Patients with surgical needs are put on hold for many months because of a long waiting list. By the time of surgery date, the patient is either dead or his/her condition is worsened.
Also, there are not many doctors and nurses to facilitate those people. The condition of hospitals is also not satisfactory as there are few beds for thousands of patients on average.
There has been a backlog of more than 10 million surgeries every year in Pakistan. The majority of people have to sell their assets for better treatment and those who don’t have anything, they just rely on the quacks in their areas and make their health further worse.
A major effort is needed to improve the healthcare system in our country. The solution is bringing capable physicians, health awareness and swift access to medical cares.
The hygienic system and drinking water also need to be monitored to avoid illness in people living in rural areas.
—The writer is contributing columnist, based in Sukkur, Sindh.