Healthcare Services in Pakistan
Healthcare in Pakistan is provided FREE of charge and is the responsibility of respective provincial governments. Considering that Pakistan is a developing country with comparatively low per capita income, and hence low tax revenues, healthcare services are not bad. In certain areas like screening for heart diseases and children's health, hospitals in Pakistan offer highly advanced services for free. Healthcare in each province is divided into three tiers as follows:
This is the first and the lowest level where clients (or patients) come into first contact with the healthcare system. This level provides preventive as well as curative services. These services are provided by a network of Basic Health Units (BHUs). Each BHU serves 25,000 citizens on the average and provides for basic diagnostic, prescription and referral services. BHUs also serve as coordination points for Lady Health Workers (LHVs) whose role is to promote health awareness amongst women at prenatal and postnatal stages and fetal and infant health.
Tehsil Headquarters (THQ) and District Headquarters (DHQ) Hospitals are the second level of the healthcare system that provide for technical therapeutic and diagnostic services. Specialist consultations and hospital admissions are provided at this level.
A THQ serves a population of up to a million people and provides basic and comprehensive emergency, obstetrics and, newborn care.
A DHQ serves a population of up to three million people and provides specialist, diagnostic, preventive and curative services to outdoor and inpatient clients.
Tertiary Healthcare is arranged through teaching hospitals that are responsible for providing highly advanced diagnostic, preventive and curative advice and services.
A large number of private hospitals with varying levels of expertise, facilities and fee structures exist in most major cities of Pakistan. You would be well advised to carry out your research before approaching such establishments as many of these may have hidden charges and subsequent payments that may make consultation and treatment expensive. You may like to buy travel insurance from an insurer in your country to cover private hospital charges.
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