‘Playing health’ with a new stack of cards

T he planet earth’s environmental and ecological transformation is a subject of much ado as are the contemporary concerns around the power dynamics, which will determine the global epicenter economically, militarily and politically over next two to three decades. This is justifiably a subject of critical thinking and planning. But sadly, the implications of this […]


Budget 2006-07 – an ode to health

Flagging a 21.3% increase in the budgetary allocation for health as part of the unprecedented increase in the development expenditure in the fiscal budget of 2006-07, the recital of June 5, 2006 made a reference to health as being a provincial subject.   True that health is a provincial subject and true that the provinces […]


The Health Budget 2006 – the policy context

Budget 2006 is just around the corner with an indication that there would, both, be aggregate as well as program-specific enhanced allocations for health. This raises the question of whether these can translate into improved health outcomes over the short term. Here it must be understood that the relationship of health indictors does not necessarily […]


The Public-private interface: more than ‘a driver of economic growth’

 C hanges in public-private roles are interlinked with broader changes in the macro-economy. Limitations of centrally planned economies, the resultant privatization of State-owned enterprise accentuated by fiscal constraints and donor conditionalities have continued to promote a package of measures in the developing countries, which make private sector the engine of growth. The current Government of […]


Civil Service Reforms – the move from hype-to-hope

 Civil service reforms need to be an integral part of social sector reform processes if sustainable solutions to currently existing issues within the ambit social sector service delivery are envisaged. Within this context, there seems to be some justification for the perception that civil service reforms may finally be part of a mainstream agenda inPakistan. […]


Avian Flu – the short and long term contexts

G iven that diseases such as the Plague, SARS, HIV/AIDs and Avian Flu do not respect national boundaries, the news of Avian Flu in our immediate neighborhood, left a slim choice between treading the prevent-prepare-control options a week ago. However its detection on an NWFP farm yesterday, made choices much clearer. Ever since Avian Influenza […]


Restructuring Basic Health Units – mandatory safeguards

R ecently, a national strategy has been approved for revamping the ‘Primary Health Care System’ with structural changes envisaged at the District level based upon the results of a pilot experience inPunjab. The strategy aims to restructure the first tier of the health service delivery infrastructure – the Basic Health Units (BHUs).   By infrastructure […]


Pakistan Medical and Dental Council – strategic imperatives

R ecent controversies around the Pakistan Medical and Dental Council (PMDC), the efforts presently underway to break the resulting stalemate and more topically offered solutions now favoring a major overhaul highlight an opportunity to flag some fundamental questions about the role of this institution. Mandated with a normative and regulatory role within the ambit of […]