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Improving Public Health Delivery in Punjab, Pakistan: Issues and Opportunities


  • Michael Callen

    () (University of California, Los Angeles.)

  • Saad Gulzar

    () (New York University.)

  • Ali Hasanain

    () (Assistant Professor, Lahore University of Management Sciences, Pakistan.)

  • Abdul Rehman Khan

    () (Lahore University of Management Sciences, Pakistan.)

  • Yasir Khan

    () (International Growth Centre, Pakistan.)

  • Muhammad Zia Mehmood

    () (International Growth Centre, Pakistan.)


Pakistan has a large and dispersed primary public health system that gives citizens access to trained doctors and staff, and to subsidized medicines. However, both the use of these facilities and health outcomes remain low. Improvements in information and communications technology provide exciting opportunities to leverage technology to improve management. This paper presents a detailed qualitative and quantitative study of the institutional context in which such interventions in the public health sector in Punjab would be trialed. We describe the structure and management of primary healthcare facilities, present selected results from a survey of a representative sample of basic health units, and identify some key issues. We also report and discuss officials’ responses to the question of how services might be improved.

Suggested Citation

  • Michael Callen & Saad Gulzar & Ali Hasanain & Abdul Rehman Khan & Yasir Khan & Muhammad Zia Mehmood, 2013. "Improving Public Health Delivery in Punjab, Pakistan: Issues and Opportunities," Lahore Journal of Economics, Department of Economics, The Lahore School of Economics, vol. 18(Special E), pages 249-269, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:lje:journl:v:18:y:2013:i:sp:p:249-269

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Nazmul Chaudhury & Jeffrey Hammer & Michael Kremer & Karthik Muralidharan & F. Halsey Rogers, 2006. "Missing in Action: Teacher and Health Worker Absence in Developing Countries," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 20(1), pages 91-116, Winter.
    2. Abhijit Banerjee & Esther Duflo, 2006. "Addressing Absence," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 20(1), pages 117-132, Winter.
    3. Esther Duflo & Rema Hanna & Stephen P. Ryan, 2012. "Incentives Work: Getting Teachers to Come to School," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 102(4), pages 1241-1278, June.
    4. Abhijit Banerjee & Angus Deaton & Esther Duflo, 2004. "Health care delivery in rural rajasthan," Framed Field Experiments 00120, The Field Experiments Website.
    5. Nazmul Chaudhury & Jeffrey S. Hammer, 2004. "Ghost Doctors: Absenteeism in Rural Bangladeshi Health Facilities," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 18(3), pages 423-441.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item


    Healthcare infrastructure; public sector management; Pakistan;

    JEL classification:

    • I18 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Government Policy; Regulation; Public Health


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