Why is this Sector Important?
The government spends only 2% of its annual budget on health. Only Rs. 25.50 billion rupees have been disbursed for this sector. Government hospitals are scarce and the government has abdicated its responsibility to the private sector.
According to the World Health Organization performance report, Pakistan ranks 154th among 195 countries in terms of quality and accessibility of healthcare. Pakistan struggles to keep a proper healthcare system with quality and accessibility for the mass. Currently, only 2% of its GDP is allocated for total health expenditures leading to the chronic shortage of supplies and trained personnel for those communities that can not afford private care.
Counterfeit medicines are also rapidly increasing in the Pakistani healthcare market. More recently with the arrival of Covid 19, Pakistan’s healthcare system is under immense pressure and is struggling to deal with the thousands of cases arriving each day. Frontline workers are taking the brunt of the virus. An estimated 3% of the total cases in the country consist of healthcare workers.
Medical professionals are resorting to strikes and protests over the lack of protective gear necessary to safely treat patients.
An average top 10 causes of death:
- Ischemic Heart Disease 8%
- Cancer 8%
- Lower-Respiratory infections 8%
- 4.Stroke 6%
- Diarrheal Diseases 6%
- Neonatal Encephalopathy 5%
- Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease 5%
- TB 5%
- Pre-Term Birth Complications 4%
- Diabetes 3%.
(Envisioning a Bright Future for this Sector)
It is quite alarming that Pakistan ranks 154th among 195 countries in terms of quality and accessibility of healthcare. With the prevailing poverty levels in Pakistan, the common person cannot afford timely access to proper healthcare. Government hospitals are overcrowded and miserably fail to deliver service forcing patients to seek private healthcare. Counterfeit medicines are also rapidly increasing in the Pakistani healthcare market.
Rethinking: A good system that is organized in a way to ensure timely access to the highest attainable standard of care to all its citizens; one that has the right programs consisting of education and technology managed by competent professionals. A system where clinics provide preventive and curative care for the most common conditions, i.e. primary health care in facilities or in the community where people live. All this is done in accordance with the respective program norms and standards. A good system is one where hospitals in which patients are referred and deliver a secondary or tertiary level of care.
(Major problems and issues for this sector that require innovation and use of technology)
New technologies offer unique opportunities for all healthcare stakeholders. Social and mobile media are already playing a significant role in health sectors globally.
Digitization of the health sector can revolutionize healthcare in Pakistan, potential work areas include, but are not limited to digital health, women’s health, pre-natal & neonatal health, obesity, mental health, psychological issues, children’s diseases, etc.
Affordability of Healthcare – 60% of the population is suffering from poverty and cannot afford the huge expenses of private hospitals and unfortunately, public hospitals are cluttered with patients.
Availability of Healthcare solutions – They have to wait for months in order to get treatment which is a highly endurable task.
Quality of healthcare services – It is quite alarming that Pakistan ranks 154 among 195 countries in terms of quality and accessibility of healthcare.
(A list of sample ideas to get innovators started. Innovators are encouraged to explore a variety of viable solutions.)
We are looking for innovative ideas to alleviate the suffering with simple and affordable solutions. We are also interested in the low-cost point of care instrumentation.