Social Policy Reform – raison d’etre

S ocial policy is central to politics and one of the major responsibilities of governments. In many developed countries the entire political debate is structured around social guarantees that representative political contenders can offer to their electorate and subsequently, sustained access to the corridors of power determined by how the agenda is delivered. How does […]


The world’s first legally binding agreement on global health security, the International Health Regulations, 2005 came into force this week on June 15, 2007. Pakistan has responsibilities as a signatory to this agreement, which it must fulfill.

F or most of us, disease pandemics are forgone history; plague killed 12 million people in 1855, but we think of it just as a setting in Jean Plaidy’s novels. Influenza claimed 25 million lives in 1918, but it is just through references in written accounts that we know of that. Much as we would […]


A new paradigm for regulating drugs and pharmaceuticals

P olicy issues relating to drugs and pharmaceuticals have increasingly been in the spotlight in 2006; the impetus to this came from the saga of the sale of spurious drugs and the consequent suo moto action by the Supreme Court. Subsequently, a high level committee meeting on October the 2nd, 2006 decided to create a […]


Dengue and its likes – long term context

  D engue is making headlines with widespread public attention and political response. True that Dengue and its potentially lethal complication, Dengue Hemorrhagic fever should be a national public health concern – as they are. By way of contextualizing however, here is a disease that does not spread from person to person and therefore does […]


Opening the insurance market – the health perspective

T he Economic Coordination Committee of the Cabinet on Wednesday the 27th decided to allow foreign companies to invest in the insurance business in Pakistan on the premise that this would help attract Foreign Direct Investment (FDI). There can be no two opinions about this being a right assumption if the necessary regulatory environment is […]


“Playing” Social Protection with a new stack of cards!

We have a history of starting things denovo in this country. Individually and institutionally, we must scrap past initiatives, create silos, never build on efforts underway and whenever the adage “we have never learnt from the past” is referred to it is often with a negative connotation. Why should the case of social protection be […]


Health in Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (ECNEC)

    T he configuration of the four health projects presented to August the 23rd’s Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (ECNEC) meeting raise some broader issues that need to be the substrate of contemporaneous conceptual thinking with reference to health and health sector allocations in Pakistan. Agreed that there can be no generalizations […]


The health and technology nexus in Pakistan – hope or hype

Why does technology get spotlighted in the discourse over health outcomes and the discussion on health sector reform? For the simple reason that health and technology have shared agendas. It is well established that in addition to serving as a sine-qua-non of therapeutics and diagnostics in the medial field, technology can not only reduce health-related […]


Tools for treatment – Scope for using technology in reforming and improving the health sector is immense

W hy does technology get spotlighted in the discourse over health outcomes and the discussion on health sector reform? For the simple reason that health and technology have shared agendas. It is well established that in addition to serving as a sine-qua-non of therapeutics and diagnostics in the medial field, technology can not only reduce […]


Rahim Yar Khan’ health initiative – revisited

Perhaps no other health policy intervention in recent times has been the substrate of a greater controversy compared with restructuring the mode of primary health care service delivery in Rahim Yar Khan (RYK) as part of which the management of Basic Health Units, in twelve districts of the country, was handed over to the Punjab […]