There is no doubt in the fact that health is very important for the development of any country. A healthy society always makes a wealthy nation. A healthy person with a sound mind can contribute positively to the country. In Pakistan, unfortunately, there is a lack of quality healthcare and education services and people face extreme difficulties while getting treatment from any hospital. The poor conditions of government hospitals are not hidden from anyone where the staff of the hospital does not always respond to the people in a good manner. In the emergency departments of leading hospitals in Islamabad, Lahore, and Karachi, it is commonly observed that the doctors do not attend the patients in a professional manner. Many times, the staff of the hospital is seen talking for hours on the phone while the patient is waiting to get his/her blood pressure examined. It has also become a norm for the doctors of many well-known hospitals to start fighting with the relatives of the patient about minor things. The previous government did not make any valuable changes to the health sector, but now, it seems like Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) is going to change this trend. Also, there is a need to make shelters in the hospitals for the facilitation of the patients and their relatives.
Recently, the Punjab Food Authority (PFA) has destroyed thousands of liters of unhealthy milk. It is a good step in this regard and we can say that the government is now on its way to improve the overall health of the nation. Also, there are cases when people have died eating food in the famous restaurants. There is a need to investigate why such events are taking place in the country. Also, this program of PFA should be expanded to all the cities and the government needs to focus on other provinces as well. Such programs are needed in Sindh, Baluchistan as well.
While taking measures to improve the government hospitals, the authorities should not forget that even the conditions of some private hospitals are also not well. These hospitals charge huge fee to the patients but the staff is not well-trained. In many cases, the doctors refer the patient to another hospital due to the lack of medical equipment. The ventilator, CT scan, MRI, and other such facilities should be provided to the intensive care units of all the small and big hospitals. The patients who suffer from heart problems should be given extra attention. Also, the government should make a mechanism to train the doctors of all the government and private hospitals of Pakistan because we have seen many times that the doctors make huge blunders of injecting a wrong drug to the patients. Furthermore, some even forget items like towels and scissors inside the body of the patient after operating him/her. Such practices put at risk the lives of people and can only be stopped when a proper training is provided to the doctor.
Moreover, the medicines that are prescribed to the patients are also not easily available on many pharmacies. Many times, when a patient reaches home after getting the prescription of medicines from the doctor, he finds out that the prescribed medicine is out of stock or is only available on hospital’s own pharmacy. In many cases, the doctors prescribe such a hard antibiotic that the store is reluctant to provide to the patient. According to many studies, antibiotics should only be prescribed when no other drug can treat the patient. But in Pakistan, many doctors tell patients to take hard antibiotics just for the treatment of common cold or influenza. As a result, the side-effects of the tablet make the patient suffer more. There are also some doctors who have a deal with the pharmaceutical companies that they will only prescribe their patients to buy the tablet of a particular company. In this way, they make a huge amount of money from the pharmaceutical companies. There is a need to make a program to stop this practice if the government is really serious in making changes to the health sector. Aside from this, in many cases, the doctors also need to describe the patient the purpose of the tablet they are prescribing.
When we talk about healthcare facilities in Pakistan, we should not forget that there are many small private hospitals that are operating illegally in the small and big cities of the country. These hospitals are not even registered and they have people who call themselves doctors but belong to some other professions. In recent years, media has reported how some illegal clinics are working with the help of police in Lahore and Karachi. In these clinics, poor people go to sell their organs for as low as Rs. 10,000 just to feed their children. The mafia then smuggles the organs abroad or sells them to the rich people in millions of rupees. The government should work with all the relevant agencies to ban such clinics.
Recently, president Dr. Arif Alvi has highlighted how health and education can play a role in the progress of country now let’s see how PTI will implement this program.