By Zubeida Mustafa
DR Tipu Sultan, president of the Pakistan Medical Association (PMA), has described the health situation in the country as ”grave, embarrassing and terrifying”. He is not exaggerating. A report titled Health of the Nation that the PMA has prepared is a scathing indictment of the state of the health sector. There has been a tremendous slide and the progress made in the last decade has been literally wiped out.
It is strange that in the chaos that engulfs Pakistan today, the crumbling state of the health care system — on which our destiny hinges — has been totally ignored. With public attention focused on our unsavoury politics, many health concerns have gone unnoticed.
Surprisingly our rulers should fail to see the connection between politics and health – a fundamental right of the citizens. The state of their health determines their span of life, sense of well being – both physical and mental — stamina to work and so on. These factors are basic to a nation’s productivity and therefore its national economy. As for our politics, it is influenced by our human capital, that is in turn shaped by the state of health and quality of life of the people.