Globally, around 17.9 million people died from CVD (Cardio Vascular Disease) each year. This accounted for 31% of all deaths reported in the year 2017. Out of these, 85% are due to heart attack and stroke. Around the world, CVD issues are increasing day by day and people don’t have resources to meet the high cost of treatment. In Pakistan, the minimum cost for open heart surgery is around 1.5 to 2.5 lakh, which can go up to a million depending on the stay at the hospital.
These circumstances for the people who cannot afford to go to a medical facility are worst. Recently I came across an article, which highlighted a story about a doctor who is trying to make conditions easy for those who cannot afford the cost of a pacemaker, a device which is placed in the heart to increase the heart beating rate. Some people who die after the surgery of pacemaker, their family can choose to donate the pacemaker which will be still functioning inside the body and could be reused to help those who are in need of it. However, this may be illegal but the situation of medical costs in the country is to be blamed. These pacemakers are sent to India and other countries where medical facilities are for the elite. Unfortunately, in our country as well, basic right to get education and health is a luxury for a common person.
People in Pakistan rely heavily on public sector health care because government hospital doesn’t provide quality health care and the waiting is endless. We spend a very low percentage of our GDP on health as compared to other countries.
Another issue that made me concerned is the kinds of heart Stents that are offered to the patients, ranging from 1.5 to 3.5 lakh, for someone who is trying to get treated these options are just like auto parts where one would consider if he or she gets the cheap one then it might be of low quality. A person who doesn’t have enough knowledge about these options will be confused and forced to think to go for the expensive one, since it will be of good quality and who would risk it for life but for someone who doesn’t have money will eventually have to go for the cheap one.
The system needs to be changed and effective measures should be taken by the Government to ensure that the people of Pakistan have the basic right to health.