Objectives: To explore perceptions of healthcare stakeholders' about health promoting hospitals, potential benefits and need in Pakistan.
Methodology: A qualitative exploratory study was conducted between July-August 2007. The data was collected through key-informant (KI) interviews and focus group discussions (FGD) with purposively selected hospital administrators, healthcare providers, health policy makers, and UN-donor agency representatives. The thematic analysis was done using QSR NVivo 2.0; and nodes representing themes were generated.
Results: The study participants perceived health promotion, a concept synonymous to health education. Those participants with public health background were better able to relate their perceptions to a more holistic view of health promotion; than those without public health background. Participants largely revealed HPH to benefit not only patients, but also community, hospital staff and hospitals at large. HPH transition was also perceived as 'opportunistic step' for controlling triple burden of diseases, curtailing morbidity and mortality toll, and 'sole answer' to promote population health, and wellbeing. Given the view, HPH was strongly recommended as "Need of the hour" for Pakistan.
Conclusion: The HPH settings would bring positive change in the healthcare delivery system, by empowering patients and local community. Technical trainings on health promotion for healthcare providers, constant policy dialogue, political will and support from community stakeholders will further strengthen the scope of health promoting hospitals in Pakistan.