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More Attention towards Health 

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Gallup Pakistan has conducted several polls and surveys on health in the past few years. Apart from seeking information on current problems, these surveys aim to find out more about the people’s attitudes toward their health as well as their views on the health facilities available to them.
In a survey in 2006, people were asked about their health compared to the past year. Amongst the respondents, 34% claimed that their health had improved, 34% thought that it was the same while 26% of the people stated that their health had deteriorated.
When asked about where they seek treatment from, 15% of the respondents in 2006 said that they go to government hospitals, 38% said that they went to private doctors and 42% claimed that they would go to whichever hospital was nearer to them. 3% of those questioned went to a dispensary. Amongst the people questioned, only 17% considered government hospitals’ standards to be good, 34% rated them as bad and 40% claimed them to be only average. In fact, when asked to compare private and public hospitals, 15% voted for public hospitals, 43% favored private hospital and 39% considered the two to be equally good.
The same questions were posed to our respondents in 2005. In 2005, 62% of those questioned claimed that they seek treatment from private hospitals when sick, 33% said that they visit government hospitals and 5% said that they went to a Hakim or a dispensary. Similarly, 38% of the people said that preferred government hospitals while 61% preferred private hospitals.
A comparison of the data given above clearly suggests that the government hospitals have managed to win over some of the people in the past few years. More people seem to consider both government and private institutions to be equally good.
People seem to be more concerned about their health on the individual level as well. According to a Gallup survey in 2005, only 16% of the people were not at all concerned about their health. 34% of those questioned said that they were very concerned about their health and 50% claimed that they were somewhat concerned.
At the same time it is important to remember that there is much left to be desired. Not only do the existing medical facilities need to be improved but greater awareness and a wider, nation-wide coverage of health facilities need to be among the priorities of the government. In 2005, only 14% of the people surveyed said that they always go for an annual medical check-up and 44% did so occasionally. 41%, however, had never had an annual medical examination. Similarly, 54% of the people expressed their dissatisfaction with the medical facilities available in their area. 7% said that they did not know and 39% stated that they were satisfied with the facilities available in their locality.
These surveys and polls were conducted by Gallup Pakistan, an affiliate of Gallup International, on a sample of over 1100 respondents in urban areas of all four provinces of Pakistan. This sample was statistically selected across all ages, income groups and educational levels. The error for a sample of this kind is estimated to be +/- 5% at a 95% confidence level.

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