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Demand for Public Health Care in Pakistan


  • Ather H. Akbari

    (Saint Mary's University, Halifax, Canada.)

  • Wimal Rankaduwa

    (University of Prince Edward Island, Canada.)

  • Adiqa K. Kiani

    (Federal Urdu University of Arts, Sciences and Technology, Pakistan.)


A health care demand model is estimated for each province in Pakistan to explain the outpatient visits to government hospitals over the period 1989–2006. The explanatory variables include the number of government hospitals per capita, doctors’ fee per visit at a private clinic, income per capita, the average price of medicine and the number of outpatient visits per capita in the previous period. All variables are significant determinants of the demand for health care in at least one province but their signs, magnitudes and the levels of significance vary. These variations may be attributed to cultural, social and religious factors that vary across provinces. Variations in health care quality offered at public hospitals may also be a factor. These factors and improved accessibility of health care facilities should be the focus of public policy aimed at increasing the usage of public sector health care facilities in Pakistan.

Suggested Citation

  • Ather H. Akbari & Wimal Rankaduwa & Adiqa K. Kiani, 2009. "Demand for Public Health Care in Pakistan," The Pakistan Development Review, Pakistan Institute of Development Economics, vol. 48(2), pages 141-153.
  • Handle: RePEc:pid:journl:v:48:y:2009:i:2:p:141-153

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Durr-e-Nayab, 2008. "Demographic Dividend or Demographic Threat in Pakistan?," The Pakistan Development Review, Pakistan Institute of Development Economics, vol. 47(1), pages 1-26.
    2. Muhammad Akram & Faheem Jehangir Khan, 2007. "Health Care Services and Government Spending in Pakistan," PIDE-Working Papers 2007:32, Pakistan Institute of Development Economics.
    3. Xu, Ke & Evans, David B. & Kadama, Patrick & Nabyonga, Juliet & Ogwal, Peter Ogwang & Nabukhonzo, Pamela & Aguilar, Ana Mylena, 2006. "Understanding the impact of eliminating user fees: Utilization and catastrophic health expenditures in Uganda," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 62(4), pages 866-876, February.
    4. Germano Mwabu & Martha Ainsworth & Andrew Nyamete, 1993. "Quality of Medical Care and Choice of Medical Treatment in Kenya: An Empirical Analysis," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 28(4), pages 838-862.
    5. Akin, John S. & Guilkey, David K. & Hazel?Denton, E., 1995. "Quality of services and demand for health care in Nigeria: A multinomial probit estimation," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 40(11), pages 1527-1537, June.
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    More about this item


    Health Care; Hospitals; Human Resources; Policy; Public Health;

    JEL classification:

    • I11 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Analysis of Health Care Markets
    • I18 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Government Policy; Regulation; Public Health
    • O15 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Economic Development: Human Resources; Human Development; Income Distribution; Migration


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