Regional Health Accounts for Pakistan—Provincial and District Health Expenditures and the Degree of Districts Fiscal Autonomy on Health.

Since May 2009 the first National Health Accounts (NHA) for Pakistan have been finalised and published by Federal Bureau of Statistics (FBS) in cooperation with German Technical Cooperation (GTZ). This paper goes one step ahead the report and analyses in more detail the regional differences in health expenditure structures in Pakistan. The further analyses can be divided into four parts: health expenditures in provinces (Provincial Health Accounts, PHA),2 Punjab provincial and district governments health expenditures and its comparison with ADB figures, all districts of Pakistan and comparison between total district government and provincial government expenditure for each province; the latter calculation is applied as indication for the degree of fiscal autonomy of the districts in each province. Consequently we first analyse the provincial health expenditures by Financial Agents and compare them between the provinces which leads to very heterogeneous results (Section 2); the per capita health expenditures differ from 16 to 23 USD. Secondly, we compare NHA results on Punjab district government with available ADB results and present differences in methods as possible reasons for different results (Section 3). Third, we analyse district data of all district governments in all four Pakistani provinces on the level of detailed function codes in Section 4; the aim is to discover regional differences between districts of the same as well as of different provinces. Fourth, we analyse in Section 5 the degree of fiscal autonomy on health of the districts in each province; therefore we review the ordinance description and compare total district government with total provincial government expenditures per province. Finally we give recommendations for future rounds of NHA in Pakistan regarding formats and necessities of detailed health expenditure data collection to ensure evidence based decision-making not only on federal, but also on provincial and district level.