Health indicators in Balochistan, for infant and maternal mortality, are poorer than in any other province
Balochistan, despite being considered the hub of the CPEC project – a multi-billion economic project, namely the China Pakistan Economic Corridor, has one of the most dilapidated health sectors amongst the other provinces. This, sadly now, is in a dismal state. Regretfully, there are no good health facilities, and people are confronting numerous problems in terms of health. In addition to this, there is no good mechanism of hospitals, lack of modern machineriy, and a dearth of adequate, well-qualified and trained doctors within their premises. In contrast, the health indicators in Balochistan, for infant and maternal mortality, are poorer than in any other province.
Due to lack of funds, planning and management, the health sector of the province is presenting a grim picture of its people being easily attacked by fatal diseases. The unequal distribution of wealth to the health sector is the primary reason leading to disastrous consequences, as water-related diseases prevail due to lack of water supply and sanitation facilities, absence of proper sewerage disposal, waste management, and contaminated water. To no avail, it is the prime responsibility of the federal and provincial governments to allocate more funds to improve the dreadful condition of the health sector in Balochistan.
On the other side of the fence, the government of Balochistan is not being provided the necessary budgetary allocations for the improvement of the health sector. The amount spent on health services out of the GDP is hardly sufficient to bring any meaningful change within the system. The substandard health services of the province leave the patients with only one option of private hospitals.
Due to lack of budgetary allocations, however, a number of hospitals lack modern pieces of equipment. Even in rural areas, it is hard to find regular doctors in government hospitals. According to an estimate, there is only one doctor available for 7300 persons on average.
Shockingly, people who are being thrown on filthy beds in government hospitals and those who are not even allowed entry into wards, due to lack of space, are only able to hear the hollow slogans of politicians. Indeed, the legislation approved by the state needs implementation since it has been far long that our elected representatives are exploiting the vote of the public, to gain political mileage in the elections.
Balochistan is in a devastating situation, and that needs a change. The government is required to launch long-term plans for the health sector, ensure implementation of previously announced projects, and allow proper utilisation of funds in order to improve the naturally rich province. If government hospitals are prioritized or facilitated, there remains no need of private hospitals, because people can obviously not afford the charges and fees of private ones. Thus, public hospitals must be facilitated with all the amenities that it lacks.
The writer is a student of Atta Shad Degree College Turbat and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org