Is health a priority among decision-makers of Pakistan? Evidence from Parliamentary questions screening.

Sadiq, N, Qazi, U, Rahman, A ORCID: 0000-0002-2066-4467 and Hafeez, A
(2019) Is health a priority among decision-makers of Pakistan? Evidence from Parliamentary questions screening. Public health, 170. 140 - 145.

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OBJECTIVES:The objectives of the study were to assess the interest of Pakistani parliamentarians in health issues, including the comparison of interest by gender, to determine the relation of health issues raised in the parliament with national health priorities set by Pakistan's Health Ministry and to assess the nature of health questions. STUDY DESIGN:Cross-sectional study. METHODS:We assessed the Pakistani parliamentarians' interest and importance given to the country's health problems by retrospectively counting parliamentary health-related questions raised on the floor of the house from 2012 to 2016. Categorical variables and themes were created and identified respectively based on questions' contents and analyzed in SAS v9.4. RESULTS:A total of 25,496 questions were asked in the parliament, out of which 408 (1.60%) were related to health issues seeking basic information and policies. An even smaller proportion (1.31%) of the questions were related to national health priorities. Despite a low ratio of female to male members (1:4), females asked five times more questions about health than their male counterparts. CONCLUSIONS:The members of parliament asked a low percentage of questions about health compared to other affairs in the country. It could, therefore, be assumed that they have low interest in health issues of the country, and this might be one of the reasons for the challenging state of health in the country. However, female members asked the majority of questions about health issues and could, therefore, play a vital role in improving the dismal state of the country's health.

Item Type: Article
Depositing User: Symplectic Admin
Date Deposited: 09 May 2019 08:47
Last Modified: 08 May 2020 20:57
DOI: 10.1016/j.puhe.2019.03.005