ISLAMABAD - Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) unveiled on Monday its ‘Health Vision’ with a pledge to increase public health spending from 0.8 per cent to 2.6 per cent of GDP and a paradigm shift towards preventive healthcare including complete decentralisation of health governance.
Unveiling his party’s health vision, PTI Chief Imran Khan said that there should be complete de-politicisation of healthcare programme with main focus on primary healthcare. He said that the health policy vision was prepared after 1/2 years consultative process with doctors, nurses, paramedics, pharmacists, patient organizations and patients suffering from various diseases.
Imran said PTI would give top priority to health sector, as healthy body is necessary for healthy mind. The PTI’s health vision will be on the top of the list after coming into power. He said that the neglected segment of the society is facing two major problems, which include legal and financial injustice. The heath sector has been completely ignored by all the successive governments, he regretted. “If you have good health, you can serve the country in a better way. It’s the poor, which is most affected while the elite class has the facility to go for treatment abroad even for minor ailments using precious taxpayers’ money”, he flayed.
Imran said that the resources being misused by the VVIPs in the name of treatment aboard is shocking and if spent locally on health sector, it could do marvel. He stressed the need to pay more attention towards primary healthcare including maternal and child health to rein in the galloping population.
Imran said that the death rate of children under five, including premature births, and malnourished mothers and children, is one of the largest in Pakistan even among developing countries. The team involved in the consultative process was led by Dr Yasmin Raashid, Dr Humayun Mohmand and health experts of PTI supervised by Jahangir Khan Tareen. But the PTI just overlooked the problems being faced by special children, as there was no mention of them in its heath policy.
Imran said that the party’s health vision was formulated in response to poor governance and bad healthcare delivery system, which have resulted in shocking indicators in maternal and child health. He said that wide inequities between urban and rural populations, gender discrimination, neglect of primary and preventive healthcare and a low coverage of health by the public sector are the main issues which need to be tackled on war-footing.
The party will also develop a thoroughly reliable and integrated health information system for evidence based planning and decision making and within five years will achieve the following goals: a 100 per cent improvement in the existing coverage by the public sector; sustained preventive programmes to reduce the burden of communicable and non-communicable diseases; achieve all health related Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) related to maternal, neonatal, infant and child mortality within the stipulated period; a fully devolved national health governance system with solid links to the community will be firmly in place; sustain a robust primary healthcare network in rural areas to ensure proper healthcare at grassroots level; ensure availability of safe drinking water and sanitation facilities across rural and urban Pakistan; initiate national programs on prevention of blindness, genetic disorders, mental illnesses and oro-dental diseases; develop a need-based workforce of health and ensure a proper service structure; and strengthen regulatory authorities regarding medical services, drug and food.