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HomeMarch 1-14, 2024Reminder to implement Essential Drugs List

Reminder to implement Essential Drugs List

Hopefully once the election fever subsides and the Governments start functioning at Center as well as in the provinces, one hopes those elected will pay some attention to the healthcare issues. Since health is now a provincial subject, the Federal Government can only give Guidelines but a lot depends on the provincial governments how they take it and how serious they are in implementation. Pakistan is perhaps one of the few Low Middle Income Countries in the world which has so far miserably failed to implement Essential Drugs List concept recommended by the World Health Organization many years ago just because of the vested interests and corrupt, inefficient health bureaucracy.

A sincere effort made in late 80s had resulted in the compilation and publication of National Hospital Formulary by the Government of Pakistan which was of course never implemented. It is high time that all the stake holders sit together, revise and update this list in view of our requirements and disease pattern. Once this is done, all these drugs must be made available at the healthcare facilities in the public sector free of cost. It will take care of most of the common diseases. Putting in place a proper monitoring system and accountability, ensuring judicious use of resources available, ensuring merit in selection, appointments and promotions can also go a long way in improving the health services. Major emphasis should be on improving Primary Health Care, prevention of diseases and improvement of the health infrastructure rather than spending money on politically motivated health projects.

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