Budget – five points under the health lens

Had it been conventional to place the budget in the public domain to solicit inputs of the civil society on the directions proposed therein, suggestions such as the one articulated in this opinion could have been more timely in terms of possible inclusion in the planning process. Given that this is not the scenario, the […]


Pakistan’s Covert Cartels

With economic, food and energy crises looming, criticism can be the most convenient past time. Such situations however, are also the litmus test for patriotism, given that a true commitment to the country warrants a look into the present and past for an objective empirical analysis only to develop insights for future planning and action. […]


Honing the 100-day agenda

Perceived as an effort aimed at planning strategically the Prime Minister’s 100 day agenda is a step in the right direction. The points articulated therein are substantively valid if implemented in their true spirit. Their contents however, are a mix of long term aspirational goals, preferred policy choices, strategic administrative measures and a few immediate […]


Political party manifestos – a sectoral insight

The pre-election political party debates relating to their positions on various sectoral processes ofthe state on national television, has prompted many ofus to review party manifestos with the view to exploring strengths and weaknesses in an attempt to determine the deciding edge. Although the process may be indecisive, it leads one to acknowledge thefact that […]


The Social Sector – telling evidence

In its report entitled “The State of the World’s Children, 2008” UNICEF’s reiteration of Pakistan’s stalling position to meet the targets stipulated in the Millennium Declaration particularly with reference to MDG 4 and 5 adds yet another set of predicaments to the ones that already exist in the country, on a range of fronts. Much […]


The new government’s option

With the elections of 2008 forthcoming, and a change ofhands on the governments reigns envisaged shortly, it is evident that any new government in Pakistan will have many issues to grapple with – from terrorism and conflict to the energy crisis and stalling fiscal indicators; inevitably and understandably, these will be the substrate ofthe new […]


Corruption: the need-greed equation

Pakistan’s ranking on the 7th position in the recently released Global Corruption Barometer by Transparency International should lend a serious impetus to address an issue, which is deeply ingrained in the institutional processes of the country, both in the public and private sectors and in many fiscal, ethical and moral shades. However it is important […]


Does corruption lurk in the health sector of Pakistan?

T ransparency International’s World Corruption Report of 2007 with its focus on corruption in the judicial system is of contemporaneous relevance toPakistan with respect to the spotlight on the judiciary. However, its findings have also opened a debate in many sectors in the country owing to its inclusion ofPakistan amongst the 37 countries studied and […]


Health and the budget 2007 – How “healthy” is our budget?

T he federal budget for 2007 will be presented on June the 9th, subsequent to which a special parliamentary session will be convened to debate the budget. Within this context, this article focuses on budgetary allocations for the health sector with a focus on four areas: aggregate level of allocations, quality of expenditures, allocation distributions […]


What is the role of the state in health?

T he recent divide of opinion about the construction of the medical tower in Islamabad, the indication that another is in the pipeline for Karachi, signaling of investments underway in high-tech equipment, the organ transplantation bill and concerns expressed subsequent to its tabling and the debate around the much-hyped medical tourism raise two important contemporaneous […]