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Health and nutrition.

Health and Nutrition

Efforts were being made to improve health and medical services. However, rapid population growth, aging of population and urbanisation were generating constant burden on the existing facilities. In Pakistan the level of expenditure on health (both public and private) is rather low. Total expenditure on health as a percentage of GNP from 1988-89 to 1990-91 is given in the table-I.

Table : Table-I
 Total Expenditure on Health
 (at current prices)
 (Rs. in million)
Year 1988-89 1989-90 1990-91
Development Expenditure 2802.00 2668.23 3912.44
Non-Development Expenditure 4519.00 4381.06 5012.65
Total Expenditure 7321.00 6949.29 8925.09
Total Expenditure as of GNP 0.92 0.78 0.85

Source: Planning & Development Division

(Time series data on total expenditure on health since 1988-89 is given below). Physical targets and achievements during 1989-90 and 1990-91 in the health sector are given in the table-II. [Tabular Data Omitted]

Total allocation for Health Sector during 1990-91 was Rs. 8,925 million. Rs. 5,013 million were allocated as current expenditure and Rs. 3,912 million for development projects with federal allocation of Rs. 1,724 million during the period under review. Rs. 800 million were allocated as lump sum provision to Health Sector, which were ultimately frozen and thus net federal allocation during 1990-91 was Rs. 924 million (with foreign aid component of Rs. 369 million). Overall utilization of federal development budget during the three quarters (July-March, 1991) was Rs. 512 million or 55.4 per cent.

The private sector was also contributing significantly in providing health services in the country. There were about 7,660 general private medical practitioners and 20,000 registered medical practitioners homeopaths in the country. The majority of the doctors/specialists employed in government hospitals were also running private clinics. Medical facilities are consistently increasing in Pakistan as shown in table-III. [Tabular Data Omitted]

New Health Policy:

A new health policy is being formulated which will be announced shortly. Some areas which would be addressed by new health policy are: -

h Provision of primary health care to all

by the year 2000.

h Elimination and control of preventable

diseases such as measles, polio, tetanus,

tuberculosis, whooping cough

and diptheria (against which effective

vaccines are available), and diarrhoeal

diseases, pneumonia and

other respiratory infections that can

be prevented if effectively treated

through relatively low-cost remedies;

h Provision of clean water and safe

sanitation. These are not only essential

for human health and well being

but also contribute greatly to the health

conditions of women and children;


h Improved nutrition policy based on

the requirements (a) to provide production

and distribution of essential

food items; (b) nutrition education;

and (c) adequate food and drug laws

to check adulteration.


The availability of major food items was estimated at 2,360 calories per person per day during 1990-91 lower than 2,534 calories achieved last year. An appreciable increase in the production of pulses, modest increase in livestock, fruits and vegetable production will compensate overall availability of protein and energy. Food availability and per capita calories/protein availability in 1988-89, 1989-90 and 1990-91 is shown below:

Table : Food Availability
 1989-90 1990-91
 1988-89 Achievements Estimates
Cereals 159.52 164.74 145.17
Pulses 6.17 5.37 6.61
Sugar 24.91 27.02 27.39
Milk 104.58 107.60 108.62
Eggs 2.00 2.10 2.20
Edible Oils 9.97 10.33 9.99
Meat 16.99 17.27 17.76

Table : Calorie & Protein Availability:
Calories per day 2448 2534 2360
Protein per day(G) 64.70 65.47 62.02

Source: Planning & Development Division
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Title Annotation:Pakistan's effort to improve health and medical services
Publication:Economic Review
Date:Sep 1, 1991
Previous Article:Pharmaceutical industry: the impending collapse.
Next Article:The key word in medicine.

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