Alternative Resource Mobilization Strategies for Pakistan’s Health Care
Working Paper No. 102
Dr. Shafqat Shehzad
The effort to improve ways to finance health care has been the guiding force for improving health outcomes in many developing and developed countries. However, total spending on health varies sharply across countries. Whereas, in many developed countries populations enjoy universal access to range of health services financed through general tax revenues, social insurance, private insurance and user charges, in many low-income countries, financial protection against the cost of illness is still incomplete. The proportion of populations sharing risk is low, and differential between access to health care services among the rich and poor is wide. The paper presents evidence on current practices of Pakistan's health care finance and delivery, and suggests ways through which alternative resource mobilization strategies can be devised for health care in Pakistan. Some popular methods of health care financing being practiced in other countries are community financing, user fees, health insurance, and assistance from donors. However, resources can also be saved from wasteful and ineffective uses of health technology (services, programs and procedures), and result in improving efficiency of existing health care services. Reallocation of resources within the health sector can be cost effective. The paper develops a criterion for choosing a financing system that takes into account factors like ease of use of the system, revenue generating ability, effects on service provision, and community participation in the socio-economic context of Pakistan.