Letters To The Editor

“The best way to predict the future is to create it.” – Peter Drucker

The sad state of government hospitals

I have stayed in London for a few years of my life and my experience there has indeed opened my eyes towards the public healthcare system. The government hospitals provide over 80 per cent services, and the government fixes the salaries of the doctors, nurses and the other staff. Let us now talk about the bizarre availability of our public healthcare system. We just have one government doctor per 10,000 people and only a small percentage of doctors in the country join the public health structure. Oh, this isn’t the end of our miseries. We have all witnessed the condition of government hospitals. They lack good infrastructure, management, staff and even basic hygiene! Something we should not be expecting as taxpayers. 24.3 per cent of our population still lives below the poverty line and solely depends on the government for all their healthcare needs. But when do we get to hear about government hospitals? It is only when there is a mishap, gross mismanagement or negligence! That is the sad story of our healthcare system. So, how do we fix this? First and foremost, we need to increase the government expenditure on healthcare. The government health infrastructure needs to improve, both in terms of accessibility and in terms of services. Moreover, the government should intervene in the pricing of private health care system. We often see absolutely absurd pricing for simple procedures in private hospitals. We have a long way to go. I sincerely hope that this government and the future governments continue to take such steps which shall benefit us all. After all, health is wealth indeed, and no country can be prosperous with their citizens lacking basic healthcare.

Sumaira Tariq,

VIPs disrupting the covid-19 vaccine programme

In the early days of the pandemic, reams were being written about how covid-19 was the great equaliser. Here was something the rich could not insulate themselves from; in fact, the well-heeled globetrotter was more likely to be a carrier than anyone else. Everyone had to jolly well hunker down at home and, for the first time, there did not seem to be as wide a gulf between you and the influencer you were following on Instagram. But now as the covid-19 vaccine is here, so are the wealthy people who want it first. The VIPs are at it again and are using their influence to get their hands on the vaccines before the common man. They’re offering tens of thousands in cash, making their personal assistants pester doctors every day, and asking whether a five-figure donation to a hospital would help them jump the line. Even after it was decided by the federal authorities that due to the first doses in short supply, the vaccines would only be given to the healthcare workers. But to those with power, money and influence, rules can always be bent. Government’s orders haven’t stopped the rich from trying to leap ahead of healthcare workers. Recently, the daughter and son-in-law of former Sindh governor Muhammad Zubair were seen getting themselves vaccinated in a violation of rules set by the authorities. These vaccines are a way out of a pandemic that has wreaked havoc across the globe over the last year, but at the moment they are in very scarce supply. Their initial scarcity could also create a thriving black market, particularly if well-connected people in the healthcare industry skim off a few doses here and there for friends, family or the highest bidder.

Haniya Syed,