Pakistan has made big leaps in healthcare in the last few years, particularly for the most vulnerable. Political skill will be needed to sustain the momentum.
GDP per capita
10% of household
consumption or income
Source: World Health Organization: Tracking universal health coverage: 2019 Global Monitoring Report
OVERVIEW OF UHC DEVELOPMENTS
As the world’s sixth most populous country, Pakistan’s National Health Vision (2016-2025) recognises UHC as a top priority. The country has also aligned UHC with its Poverty Reduction Strategy and pro-poor social protection initiatives.
Particular attention has been paid to the most vulnerable sections of the population, as the country’s Sehat Sahulat Program (SSP) illustrates. An initiative of the federal government and province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, SSP currently provides secondary healthcare for all admissions for 5.7 million vulnerable households in more than 100 districts. Limited tertiary care is also included. In the coming years, the plan is to expand coverage to around 11 million families across Pakistan, providing access to healthcare for nearly 50 million people in total.
However, to achieve UHC, the various schemes run by the federal and provincial governments will need to broaden their membership bases, increase disease coverage, and be underpinned by institutional reform. All this will require political skill to find solutions to the political, financial and legal constraints, and to enable healthcare to be the effective and properly financed responsibility of the provinces, in line with the 18th Amendment.
Click here to see country initiatives under the L4UHC programme.