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J Pak Med Assoc. 2006 Dec;56(12 Suppl 4):S66-77.

The Gateway Paper--health service delivery outside of the public sector in Pakistan.

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Heartfile, Pakistan.


As opposed to preventive healthcare where State mandated healthcare agencies play a pre-dominant role, a number of actors within the healthcare system other than the State play a role in providing personalized curative healthcare within the country. The sector constitutes a set of diverse group of doctors, nurses, pharmacists, traditional healers, drug venders as well as laboratory technicians, shopkeepers and unqualified practitioners. The services they produce include hospitals, nursing homes, maternity clinics, clinics run by a range of healthcare providers, diagnostic facilities and the sale of drugs from pharmacies and unqualified sellers. However, in some cases the distinction between public and private sector is not very clear as many public sector practitioners practice privately, legally and illegally. The sector is fragmented and characterized by a mixed ownership patterns, many types of providers and different systems of medicines. As a viewpoint on the configuration of a proposed health reform within Pakistan, the Gateway Paper flags key issues in relation to this sector. This encompasses lack of a formal regulatory mechanism for private sector providers and their delivery mechanisms, absence of a formal mechanism for building capacity and ensuring quality and absence accreditation arrangements for private hospitals and nursing homes. With this as a context recommendations focus on the nature of regulatory mechanisms and the institutional arrangements necessary support them with particular reference to quality and continuing medical. In regard to traditional medicines directions focus on exploring ways to harnessing the potential within the system in order to leverage its outreach and integrate it with the formal healthcare system. The Paper also stresses on the need to fully exploit the potential within behavioral change interventions in order improve health systems performance in Pakistan and to broaden its scope from lifestyle and prevention behaviors in a health education paradigm to impact the performance of all the actors in the health care system.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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