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An Actionable Agenda for Achieving Universal Health Coverage in Pakistan

Working Paper 05

Dr. Muhammad Ali Chaudhry, Ammara Khan


Pakistan’s health system has struggled to effectively and efficiently serve the needs of an ever-growing population. Chronic challenges include prioritization, regulation, institutional alignment and governance. They have combined to produce major gaps in service delivery. Structural shifts in Pakistan’s demographic and disease profile are indicative of the urgent need to reform and reorient healthcare in the country. The Covid-19 pandemic and its impact on the wider public health ecosystem, the economy, lives, livelihoods and wellbeing of people and communities across the country only reinforces the need for a strong and resilient public health system; one that provides affordable high-quality healthcare and delivers effective crisis management. 

In view of Pakistan’s international commitments to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and a continually lagging performance in nutrition, infectious diseases and preventive healthcare, a national focus on Universal Health Coverage (UHC) offers a unique opportunity at the turn of the decade. This paper examines Pakistan’s healthcare system and the emerging health requirements and deficiencies. This analysis is followed by an overview of UHC and its relevance as a framework to improve the country’s healthcare system. The paper then discusses Pakistan’s progress towards UHC and concludes with a transformation roadmap for an improved and effective 21st century healthcare system that can serve Pakistanis. 

You can read the complete Working Paper 05 here.

Dr. Muhammad Ali Chaudhry is an entrepreneurial healthcare executive with a keen grasp of the healthcare space on a global scale. He has a track record of transforming healthcare systems with a focus on strategic reforms, innovation and partnerships. Dr. Chaudhry has worked with prestigious international organizations including Ministry of   Health – KSA, Johns Hopkins Medicine, TVM Capital Healthcare, Mubadala Healthcare, Saudi Aramco, Siemens Healthcare, Council of Cooperative Health Insurance and the Government of Abu Dhabi Healthcare Regulatory Authority (formerly HAAD). He completed his clinical and research training at top-ranked US institutions including Johns Hopkins Medicine, Weill Cornell Medical, University of Pennsylvania, University of Massachusetts at Amherst, and Harvard Business and Public Health Schools.

Ammara Khan has served as a communications and policy professional for more than two decades with a focus on social impact, health and education. She has held senior positions in public, private and non-profit sector organizations advancing social impact and sustainable development, designing innovative problem-solving strategies, crisis communications, research and building institutional capacity. She holds a degree in international relations from the University of Toronto.