The political economy of healthcare in Pakistan


The political economy of healthcare in Pakistan


Abstract / Description

This book deals with one of the most essential conditions of human existence: the health of individuals and society. The author has described the multi-faceted structure of health care in Pakistan at great length and has then identified and highlighted the results of this health system on the people of the country. He uses a Marxist framework and shows how the exploitation and domination of a small minority in the economic structure of society is mirrored in the health structure of the country. He argues that the existing economic and political situation in Pakistan has resulted in a model of health care which is elitist, western-oriented, and suited to the needs of a handful of well-to-do people.

The author shows how this elitist bias is predominant in the numerous layers of the model, and issues, such as medical education, the social background of medical students, the geographical location of health facilities and doctors, etc., are all analyzed within this perspective. He shows convincingly, that the goal "health for all by the year 2000", given the existing class structure in Pakistan, is an impossibility. To achieve health for all, or for even the majority of the people in Pakistan or any other underdeveloped capitalist country, one needs, as a prerequisite, to change the existing economic, social and political structure which gives birth to the particular inequitable model of health care. Only then can one have the beginnings of a more just and equitable society and hope for health for all.

Table of Contents

1.Issues in the health sector in Pakistan ----------------------------------------------------- 1

2. The urban bias in health facilities in Pakistan ------------------------------------------ 14

3. Why medical students will not practice in rural areas: evidence from a survey -44

4. The class composition of medical students: some indications from Sind, Pakistan --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 63

5. Unemployment among Doctors in Pakistan --------------------------------------------- 82

6. Undergraduate medical education in underdeveloped countries: the case of Pakistan -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 96

7. Health for all by the year 2000:can Pakistan meet the target? ------------------- 123

8. Poverty and disease: need for structural change ------------------------------------ 136

9. Medicare in Pakistan: some recent developments and their resulting contradictions ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ 162

10.Inconsistencies in government-generated data: an illustration ------------------ 171

11. Medical students: their socio-economic Background and urban choice ------ 178

Publication Date


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Author Affiliation

  • Professor Dr. S. Akbar Zaidi is the Executive Director of the IBA, Karachi.

The political economy of healthcare in Pakistan