Pakistan | Programme areas | Health system strengthening

Health system strengthening

Print PDF

Pakistan's health care system is a  three-tiered health care delivery system: primary, secondary and tertiary care. Health system strengtheningHealth system strengthening mechanism Starting at grass roots level, health houses provide community health care services through lady health worker and are connected to basic health units with an upward referral pathway to rural health centres, tehsil hospitals and district hospitals. There are also well-equipped tertiary level teaching hospitals.

However, this extensive health care infrastructure has not been translated into optimal health care delivery due to a number of issues related to the health system. This includes the poor motivation of the health workforce due to lack of good career structures and work environments, maldistribution of resources between urban and rural areas, and the lack of a national human resources for health policy.

Pakistan spends only 0.5% of its gross domestic product (GDP) on health, which is very low. This leads to an inability of the government to provide the required medicine and laboratory support to health care delivery resulting in an out-of-pocket expenditure on health of around 80%.

Futhermore, the health information system does not produce the quality data required for planning.

Health systems

Key areas of work of the health system strengthening cluster of programmes in Pakistan

Health policy and strategic planning

Health workforce (human resource development)

Health service delivery (including lady health workers programme)

Health information system

Essential medicines and pharmaceutical policy

Basic development needs

Gender in health and development

Related Stories

WHO Pakistan biennial beport 2012 - 13 [Pdf 2.62Mb]

Social Determinants of Health Progress in Pakistan [Pdf 84.2Kb]

Key health-related statistics

Total population (000s) 184 350
Total health expenditure (% of general government expenditure) 4.7
Maternal mortality ratio (per 100 000 live births) 170
Primary health care centres and units (per 10 000 population) 2.0
Total life expectancy at birth (years) 65.0

Source: Country statistical profiles (2014)

See Pakistan country profile

Regional Health Observatory

Contact us

WHO Representative
PO Box 1013
+92 51 9255184-5, 9255077, 8432400