Political Instability: Implications on Healthcare Services in Pakistan

Political Instability: Implications on Healthcare Services in Pakistan

Fatima Riaz

No doubt “Health is wealth”. Should our bodily defenses prove sufficiently robust to fend off the internal assaults of ailment, we then stake a genuine claim to survival. Regrettably, the healthcare infrastructure within Pakistan languishes in a dire state, besieged by adversity. The preeminent cause of this incongruity in healthcare provision within the country resides in the persistent quagmire of political instability. Pakistan has remained ensnared by the tendrils of political turbulence for a protracted span, the repercussions of which cast a looming shadow over the realm of healthcare provision. Curiously, this predicament often evades thorough scrutiny, even as the integrity of healthcare delivery steadily wanes.As posited by the World Health Organization (WHO), Pakistan finds itself ensconced among nations exhibiting the most frugal healthcare expenditures on a global scale. An already trying predicament is further exacerbated by the unrelenting churn of political instability. Healthcare services across Pakistan grapple with an acute crisis, the taproot of which may be discerned in the tempestuous milieu of political instability, the tendrils of which extend far and wide. The ramifications of such instability have wrought a profound impact upon Pakistan’s healthcare edifice, yielding restricted access to medical amenities, lackluster health outcomes, and a corroded trust in the infrastructure underpinning healthcare delivery.

The task of addressing the sway of political instability upon healthcare dispensation in Pakistan commands a multifaceted approach. The present vicissitudes in the political landscape gravely impede the purveyance of healthcare services, instigating a multitude of predicaments by virtue of inadequacies in oversight. Furthermore, political upheaval can sow seeds of security apprehension, subsequently constricting the ingress to medical facilities. In regions beset by conflict or violence, healthcare practitioners might find themselves incapacitated from administering care due to the specter of jeopardized safety. This sense of trepidation within healthcare professionals emanates from the paucity of robust security protocols and the recurrent transgressions against established norms. Consequently, marginalized communities, encompassing women and children, remain ensnared in the grip of restricted healthcare access, thus perpetuating the scourge of health disparities.In addition, political instability may engender an environment conducive to corruption and the misallocation of healthcare resources. The proliferation of mismanagement and graft within the machinery entrusted with healthcare stewardship erodes the pillars of transparency, accountability, and overall efficacy. This misadministration further compounds the predicament of constrained healthcare access, disproportionately afflicting impoverished and marginalized demographics.

Ultimately, the ripple effects of political instability may enervate the political resolve to accord precedence to healthcare prerogatives. This dearth of prioritization engenders suboptimal investments in healthcare services and insufficient political advocacy for healthcare policies. Bereft of political commitment, the amelioration of healthcare service quality looms as an imposing challenge. The question at hand is conspicuous: Why do these factors, which engender the decay of Pakistan’s healthcare fabric, not command the requisite attention they warrant?

The extant landscape of corruption, coupled with the dearth of regulatory oversight within the operative framework, conspires to disenfranchise nearly half of Pakistan’s populace from their elemental entitlements to healthcare. While challenges besetting systems are not wholly unexpected, it remains untenable to forsake the pursuit of continual enhancement. Collaboration between the Pakistani governmental apparatus and the healthcare domain emerges as an imperative. Effective governance and endorsement stand as prerequisites for the optimal functioning of every sector.A pertinent exemplification lies in a recent research study spotlighting the paucity of proper X-ray apparatus in rural and remote medical establishments, with laboratories in need of modernization to furnish adequate diagnostic services. Indigenous investments could alleviate the strain on congested urban hospitals. The central administration ought to underscore the importance of preventive care, ensuring universal access to vital vaccinations for all juveniles. Financial constraints frequently shackle underprivileged parents, precluding their wards from receiving essential medical attention. The quandary of healthcare accessibility remains a foremost concern for multitudes of indigent Pakistanis, who remain bereft of the means to engage private medical services.

The administration led by Prime Minister Khan has initiated initiatives such as the ‘Sehat card,’ an instrument furnishing cost-free treatment and pecuniary aid to the underprivileged. These endeavors warrant pervasive and expeditious implementation across all provinces to genuinely mitigate the suffering endured by the marginalized populace. By effectuating these stratagems and policies, the administration can chart Pakistan’s trajectory toward remedying its beleaguered healthcare infrastructure. This exertion shall not merely redound to the enhancement of well-being among Pakistan’s populace, numbering 200 million soles, but shall also furnish impetus to the nation’s economic augmentation and maturation. A population hale in health indisputably begets one more prolific in productivity.

Fatima Riaz

Student BS Medical Laboratory Technology

University of Okara