Pakistan Institute of Development Economics



On the Privatisation of Health Care in Pakistan

One of the manifestations of underdevelopment is malnutrition and unhygienic living conditions. These contribute to lowering productivity levels of labour thereby affecting both industrial and agricultural output. This gives rise to other problems such as unemployment, and underemployment which leads to falls in family income and a consequent decline in living standards. The cycle is then repeated. However, till the early 1970s most LDCs did not give due weightage to the improvement of health conditions as they felt that resources would be better utilised in the directly productive sectors of the economy, for example, agriculture and industry to name two. However, the last twenty years has seen, through the basic needs approach, the role that health can play in promoting development. Expenditures in the health sector came to be seen as investments in human capital. The benefits of such investment became apparent from the improvement in the quality of human resources which was reflected by increases. in productivity of the labour force as well as by increasing the length of the expected working life of labour. Thus the provision of better health facilities has a two-fold effect: first it increases the productivity of the existing labour force and, second it increases the quantity of human resources available in the future by increasing the length of working life. Keeping this in view, the Government of Pakistan’s policy with regard to the provision of health can be summarised in a five-point agenda:

Mir Annice Mahmood

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