Con­serv­ing Hu­man Cap­i­tal

The Pak­istani pop­u­la­tion has a lot of po­ten­tial. Ef­forts for pro­vid­ing a con­ducive environment to help pro­mote sound men­tal and phys­i­cal health are im­per­a­tive for a healthy and pro­duc­tive na­tion.

Southasia - - Equality & Justice - By Sara Iqbal

Health plays a key role in de­ter­min­ing the qual­ity of hu­man cap­i­tal. Bet­ter health im­proves the ef­fi­ciency and pro­duc­tiv­ity of the la­bor force and ul­ti­mately con­trib­utes to eco­nomic growth and hu­man wel­fare. How­ever, suc­ces­sive gov­ern­ments in Pak­istan seem to have missed out on this core is­sue of national progress.

The lat­est Eco­nomic Sur­vey of Pak­istan (2010-2011) paints a bleak pic­ture of the health sec­tor. Spend­ing on health re­mained abysmally low and de­clined as a per­cent­age of GDP. To­tal pub­lic sec­tor ex­pen­di­ture on health, for both the fed­eral as well as provin­cial gov­ern­ments com­bined, in this past fis­cal year was 0.54 per­cent of the GDP.

The year also saw a de­cline in health ex­pen­di­tures to Rs. 42 bil­lion from Rs. 79 bil­lion the pre­vi­ous year, a re­duc­tion of 0.23 per cent of GDP. This is con­trary to the pro­gres­sive in­crease in the health bud­get over the past sev­eral years, with Rs. 24.3 bil­lion be­ing spent in 2000-01 and Rs. 79 bil­lion in 2009-10.

The numbers come as a sur­prise if one con­sid­ers a num­ber of ver­ti­cal and hor­i­zon­tal pro­grams re­gard­ing health fa­cil­i­ties that are op­er­a­tive in Pak­istan. These in­clude:

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Pakistan

© PressReader. All rights reserved.