Thursday, January 04, 2007

Pakistani Health Management System Problems

I am sure those of you who visit the disreputable forum have seen numerous articles by Indian and Pakistani commentators about the price of medicines in Pakistan. As these commentators attest, the medicines in Pakistan cost about fifteen times as much as they do in India. Ofcourse our brave Pakistani friends might be able to accept a misconception that heroin can cure all illnesses and that Pakistan makes enough heroin to make all its people forget their pain, but we have to confront the real impact of the fact Pakistan has no health management system.

So lets briefly talk about what this means.

Firstly if some average Abdul from the Pakistan Army's Jihadi ranks decides that he is going to develop a biological weapon to destroy the Kafirs of India or the infidels of America and the Terrorists of Israel and by some change the average Abdul makes a mistake reading the Chinese instructions on the side of the bilogical weapons package he gets from all-weather friends in China, he could start a pandemic that will be impossible to control in Pakistan. Containing such a pandemic will require the import of medicines into Pakistan, and the nature of the pharma market dictates that those medicines will have to come from India.

Secondly, when there is poor health management system in place, there is a lack of control on communicable diseases. People will say that in India we don't have good control over communicable diseases but I point out that we have been trying successfully to keep things control, unlike others in our part of the world! However even if India achieves some measure of control over the problems of Typhoid, Malaria and T.B., the flow of population across the borders will ensure that local outbreaks keep occuring and the Indian disease control system never achieves a complete success. I leave the possibilities of conducting terrorist spectaculars with local outbreaks to your imagination, but you should all agree by now that Pakistan's lack of health control could easily impair India's efforts at pandemic managment.

Thirldy, the Pakistan Army, now effectively legitimized by America to rule Pakistan forever, has no incentive to change this. The reasons why medicines cost ten time more in Pakistan than in India is because the Pakistan Army ensures that import of medicines from India is taxed to the point where smuggling is incentivized. The Army then places an unofficial cess on the smugglers and uses that money for its private slush funds. As the Army is not accountable to the people of Pakistan and the Americans won't let the Pakistani people hold the Pakistani Army accountable, even if there is a pandemic tomorrow in Pakistan, the Pakistani Army will have no incentive to change the way it does things. As they did with the earthquake in POK, the Pakistani Army will simply hand over health services to the Lashkar-e-Taiba and then take bribes and unofficially siphon off international funds and donations meant for health aid.

It is easy to see that the deadly flu that scientists worry will tear through the world, could easily start in Pakistan as a failed Jihadi biological weapons development exercise and spread rapidly to other parts of the world.

This terrible mess is yet another example of how Pakistan's military leadership only intends to maintain a festering sore of a nation that only succeeds in bringing India and quite possibly the world down with it.

All too often the world trivializes the threat from Pakistan as being solely due to nuclear weapons and this allows people to pretend that somehow having Musharraf in power is going to save the world!

It is important to educate the World about the true dangers posed by Pakistan.