Pakistan and the poor state of healthcare

The Ratodero case created major headlines both nationally and internationally. The case helps to shed a light on Pakistan's poor state of healthcare.

The small town of Ratodero came under national and international spotlight following the breakout of the AIDS epidemic. The outbreak was attributed to a highly negligent doctor by the name of Muzaffar Ghanghro, who treated his patients with reused syringes that helped in spreading the disease to the masses. The case not only created outrage amongst Pakistani society, but it also highlighted an immensely important issue besieging Pakistani society; poor healthcare.

The types of negligent healthcare practices conducted by this doctor are not unheard of in Pakistan. In fact, it is far more common than one can imagine. Lack of healthcare regulation and supervision can account for the primary reason why such practices take place. Where there is no system by which to monitor the actions of doctors and hold them accountable, such malpractices are bound to take place and become more common.

Another key issue is the lack of highly qualified healthcare professionals within the country who can perform their tasks adequately. However, it is not only state-run healthcare institutions where we see this issue. The high-profile death of a ten-month girl named Nishwa showcases that even private healthcare facilities lack decent medical professionals who are capable enough to do their jobs adequately.

The Ratodero incident also helps to shed a light on another issue raised by an article written about Pakistan’s healthcare in the New York Times, the inability among Pakistani healthcare institutions and professionals to deal with such deadly outbreaks on such a high magnitude.

The problems highlighted above aims to highlight that urgent action is needed by the government to help address some of the institutional faults with the healthcare system and how more regulation and better coping mechanism are needed to be placed in order to deal with such issues in the near future.

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