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June 21, 2019

Health for all should be a key government agenda, PIMA demands

Islamabad

June 21, 2019

Islamabad : The government and political parties should make ‘health for everyone’ their agenda and legislate to make health the basic right of every citizen. The health budget should be increased to Rs600 billion, with Rs100 billion being added at the end of each year. Tax and revenue generated from tobacco, beverages and junk food should be spent on health and an effective strategy should be devised to control Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs).

The central president of Pakistan Islamic Medical Association (PIMA) Prof. Mohammad Afzal Mian tabled these demands while addressing a National Budget Seminar here Thursday. He pointed out that health has been declared as a provincial subject in the Constitution, but the provinces have not been given any vision or policy to this end.

Referring to the rising burden of NCDs, Afzal said, 80 million people suffer from these diseases while 70% of the deaths are caused by NCDs.

He said 800 people die every day from heart diseases, 400 from cancer, 400 from stroke and 50 from trauma and road traffic accidents.

At present, 300,000 patients are on kidney dialysis and their number is increasing by 40,000 annually. “At present, only one doctor is available for 1,073 people and only one bed for 1,593 patients at private and public sector hospitals.

These conditions make it imperative for the government prioritise health as key agenda and to immediately conduct a National Health Survey.

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