Healthcare in Pakistan

Healthcare in Pakistan is administered mainly in the private sector which accounts for approximately 80% of all outpatient visits. The public sector was until recently led by the Ministry of Health, however the Ministry was abolished in June 2011 and all health responsibilities (mainly planning and fund allocation) were devolved to provincial Health Departments which had until now been the main implementers of public sector health programs. Like other South Asian countries, health and sanitation infrastructure is adequate in urban areas but is generally poor in rural areas.

Pakistan's health care delivery system includes both state and non-state; and profit and not for profit service provision. The provincial and district health departments, para-statal organizations, social security institutions, non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and private sector finance and provide services mostly through vertically managed disease-specific mechanisms. The country’s health sector is also marked by urban-rural disparities in healthcare delivery and an imbalance in the health workforce, with insufficient health managers, nurses, paramedics and skilled birth attendants in the peripheral areas.[1]

Pakistan per capita income (PPP current international $, 2013) is 5,041[2] and the total expenditure on health per capita (intl $, 2014) is 129 which is only 2.6% of GDP (2014)[3]

Cancer care

Cancer information on Pakistan [4] Approximately one in every 9 Pakistani women is likely to suffer from breast cancer which is one of the highest incidence rates in Asia.[5]

Major cancer centers in Pakistan include the Shaukat Khanum Cancer Hospital & Research Center in Lahore, Aga Khan University Hospital in Karachi and the National Institute of Blood Diseases (NIBD) in Karachi.


Main article: Obesity in Pakistan


Main article: Smoking in Pakistan

Drug addiction


Main article: Suicide in Pakistan


Among Asian countries, Pakistan has the highest rates of breast and ovarian cancer. The genetic findings show that BRCA mutation (BRCA1 and BRCA2) mutations account for a substantial proportion of hereditary breast/ovarian cancer and early-onset breast and ovarian cancer cases in Pakistan.[6] Breast cancer is the most common cancer in Pakistan as different studies show it kills nearly 40,000 women every year. According to World Health Organization (WHO), breast cancer rates are getting worse and it is not sparing even younger age group.[7]


Personnel (source)
Doctors (2009) 139,555
Dentists (2009) 9,822
Nurses (2009) 69,313
Midwives (2009) 26,225
Health visitors (2009) 10,731
Registered vets (2009) 4,800
Health facilities in 2009 (source)
Total Health Facilities 13,937 103,708 beds
Hospitals 968 84,257 beds
Dispensaries 4,813 2,845 beds
Rural health centers 572 9,612 beds
Tuberculosis clinic 293 184 beds
Basic health units 5,345 6,555 beds
M.C.H. centers 906 256 beds


According to official data, there are 127,859 doctors and 12,804 health facilities in the country to cater for over 170 million people.[8]

Many Pakistani doctors and medical professionals choose to migrate to other countries, contributing to a brain drain and chronic skills shortage in the country. In the United States alone, there are over 17,000 doctors of Pakistani origin.[9] Pakistan is the fourth highest source of International medical graduate doctors in the U.S[10] as well as the fourth highest source of foreign dentists licensed in the United States.[11]


Professional institutes

As of 2007, there were 48 medical colleges and 21 dental colleges in the country.[12]



Main article: Nursing in Pakistan

According to Dr.Shaikh Tanveer Ahmed Nursing is a major component of health care in Pakistan. The topic has been the subject of extensive historical studies,[13] is as of 2009 a major issue in that country,[14] and has been the subject of much scholarly discussion amongst academics and practitioners.[15] In 2009, Pakistan’s government stated its intent to improve the country's nursing care.[16]


Main article: Dentistry in Pakistan

At present there are upwards of 70 dental schools (public and private) throughout Pakistan, according to the Pakistan Medical and Dental Council the state regulatory body has upwards of 11500 registered dentists. The four-year training culminates in achieving a Bachelor of Dental Surgery (BDS) degree, which requires a further one year compulsory internship to be a registered dentist in Pakistan.


Medical tourism

Community medicine

Pakistan is committed to the goal of making its population healthier, as evidenced by the continuing strong support for the Social Action Program (SAP) and by the new vision for health, nutrition, and population outlined in the National Health Policy Guidelines published by the government.

Nuclear medicine

See also


Further reading

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