Effective health insurance to save millions from starvation

Effective health insurance to save millions from starvation | PakistanTribeKARACHI – Experts of various fields including banking and insurance on Thursday said government must enhance healthcare budget to overcome poverty and improve standard of living of masses.

National and economic development is difficult when a major portion of population could not afford healthcare, while improved allocations is the fastest way to ensure better living conditions, they said.

Former Foreign Secretary Akram Zaki, former chief of Askari Insurance Jamaluddin, Advisor to InvestCap Naveed Hassan Zaidi, Mr. Baig Raj and others said that health system needs overhaul while an effective health insurance system must be in place which will reduce infant and mother mortality rate.

They were speaking at a seminar hosted by United International Group on award of A+ rating to United Insurance Company by PACRA.

The speakers called for a new welfare system based on home-grown methods and mistakes of other countries that tried such initiatives in past.

Akram Zaki and others said that Pakistan’s healthcare budget is least in the world outside Sudan and Nigeria. We have been spending 0.5 per cent of the GDP on healthcare of which 75 per cent is utilised on salaries while a major portion of remaining funds are wasted due to mismanagement.

One hundred children out of one thousand dies before their fifth birthday in Pakistan which the ratio in Bangladesh is 77, Sri Lanka 14 and India 85, they added.

Health system is totally dysfunctional in rural areas while situation in cities is far from satisfactory, they said, adding that this has opened opportunity for the private sector to milk the poor.

Moreover, they observed, those who don’t need assistance get free medication while needy have to run from pillar to post to get treatment.

Absence of health insurance is taking toll on poor as in case of injury or disease to the breadwinner plunges family into debt and undernourishment.

Speaking on the occasion, the chief guest Jamaluddin asked the staff of UIC to work with dedication under the leadership of Mian Shahid so that company can get AA and even AAA rating.

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