The state of affairs at primary health care facilities in Pakistan: where is the state's stewardship?

East Mediterr Health J. 2011 Jul;17(7):619-23.


Primary health care (PHC) services in Pakistan, particularly in rural areas, are in a dismal state. Inadequacies, unfairness and ignorance about the importance of the basic health care provided by these facilitates have led to a disorganized and poorly performing system. This paper reviews the situation in certain PHC facilities in Sindh province. Inadequate medicines and supplies, underutilized family planning services, lack of human resources, faulty equipment, and absence of a proper referral mechanism were some of the key findings. There is therefore an urgent need for radical improvement in the PHC system in order to maximize the appropriate use of PHC facilities. In order to do this, the paper argues that the stewardship role of the State must be strengthened.

MeSH terms

  • Government Regulation*
  • Health Services Accessibility
  • Health Services Needs and Demand
  • Humans
  • Pakistan
  • Primary Health Care / organization & administration*
  • Rural Health Services / organization & administration