Pakistan’s Progress on Universal Health Coverage: Lessons Learned in Priority Setting and Challenges Ahead in Reinforcing Primary Healthcare

Document Type : Editorial


1 DCP3 Country Translation Project, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, London, UK

2 University of California, San Francisco, CA, USA

3 Department of Community Health Sciences, Aga Khan University, Karachi, Pakistan

4 Global Health Economics Centre, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, London, UK


Pakistan developed an essential package of health services at the primary healthcare (PHC) level as a key component of health reforms aiming to achieve universal health coverage (UHC). This supplement describes the methods and processes adopted for evidence-informed prioritization of services, policy decisions adopted, and the lessons learned in package design as well as in the transition to effective rollout. The papers conclude that evidence-informed deliberative processes can be effectively applied to design affordable packages of services that represent good value for money and address a major part of the disease burden. Transition to implementation requires a comprehensive assessment of health system gaps, strong engagement of the planning and financing sectors, serious involvement of key national stakeholders and the private health sector, capacity building, and institutionalization of technical and managerial skills. Pakistan’s experience highlights the need for updating the evidence and model packages of the Disease Control Priorities 3 (DCP3) initiative and reinforcing international collaboration to support technical guidance to countries in priority setting and UHC reforms.



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