Acknowledgments: First of all we would like to thank Lahore School of Economics for giving us the chance to conduct this research. We have put forth a compiled study concerning government hospitals in Lahore. We would like to appreciate Ms. Rameeza Aslam for her guidance throughout the research. We are also thankful to the 20 people who spared their precious time to answer our survey questions. Also we would like to acknowledge the interviewee who cooperated and shared his personal experience with us Abstract.
This study is intended to evaluate the level of performance of healthcare services delivered to patients by the public hospitals in Lahore, Pakistan. Currently, health care system in Lahore is comprised of public hospitals, healthcare units and dispensaries, which are not sufficient to meet the healthcare requirements of 169. 9 million people. Under the elaborated dimensional analyses, the study aims to identify the scarcity of facilities in public hospitals that adversely affect patient’s health and also discusses why the government neglects the public health sector.
For this purpose, 20 questionnaires were developed and distributed among general public. Results of this study indicate that public hospitals are not making visible efforts to deliver quality of services to their patients and are also not making any visible efforts to meet patient’s needs and wants. It has been suggested that proper attention of government, provision of sound infrastructure and proper medical equipment’s with check and balance and health facilities will reduce the existing problems at public hospitals in Lahore. Literature Review:
Healthcare sector is considered to be the major service sector for a country as it plays a vital role to develop and maintain a healthy human capital to achieve national goals. In many countries around the globe, healthcare sector has also become a highly competitive and fast growing service industry. (4). Public hospitals are important and most considerable part of health systems, especially in developing countries. People don’t have enough resources to bear the expenses of private hospitals.
Barnum and Kutzin (1993) reported that, public hospitals are usually responsible for 50 to 80 percent of regular government health sector expenditure. According to the constitution of World Health Organization, “The enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of health is one of the fundamental rights of every human being.
” The constitution of Pakistan guarantees basic rights and liberties to all citizens of the state. To provide health facilities to the citizens, there is a Universal Health Care system in Pakistan. This means that any citizen of Pakistan can get treatment at public sector health care facilities in the country.
However, situation of health sector in Pakistan is worsening day by day as it is one of the most neglected sectors. The extent of this neglect can be estimated from the fact that its budget was around 0. 6% of the GDP (Saeed, 2012). Dr. Hashmi said that the limited budget for health sector showed the willingness of the government towards providing basic health facilities to the people, there was no doubt that the health sector was one of most neglected segments of the country in context of allocating budget by the government. She suggested that the health budget should be increased from a meager 0.
7 per cent of GDP to a substantial amount, i. e. 6 per cent of GDP. (1) To quote a report by Pakistan Institute of Development Economics, “Pakistan’s health care system is inadequate, inefficient, and expensive; and comprises an under-funded and inefficient public sector along with a mixed, expensive and unregulated private sector. These poor conditions in the health sector may be attributed to a number of factors like poverty, malnutrition, unequal access to health facilities, inadequate allocation for health, and high population growth and infant mortality.
” There is acute shortage of data for health indicators in Pakistan. Currently, almost 80% of health sector in Pakistan is based in Private sector. For a self-respecting middle class Pakistani, visiting a public sector hospital is nothing less than a nightmare. Due to over-burden of patient load, resources dry up fast. Data collected by the author for one particular ward at a teaching hospital in Lahore revealed that in duration of 24 hours, around 700 patients visited the medical emergency of the hospital.
There were only 45 beds available in that particular ward. At the end of 24 hours, 60 patients had been admitted, resulting in patients having to share beds in majority of cases. There is acute shortage of beds in teaching hospitals and there are no plans on the horizon till now that anything is going to be done in this regard. According to figures from last budget, Punjab Government has allocated a spending of Rs. 120 for every citizen of Punjab. That is not sufficient even if you want 2 surgical sutures! (2)