The government released the Economic Survey 2020-21 on Thursday, which captures the state of Pakistan’s healthcare system in the last one year. So, what changes have been recorded in 2020? Let’s take a look. Public hospitals There were a total of 1,282 public hospitals in the country in 2020 as compared to 1279 in 2019 which means that three new hospitals were added to the health infrastructure last year. There are currently 132, 227 hospitals beds in Pakistan, which mean that for 1,608 persons one bed is available. The number remains unchanged from 2018. In addition, 5,472 Basic Health Units, 670 Rural Health Clinics, 5,743 Dispensaries, 752 Maternity & Child Health Centres and 412 TB centres were listed in 2020. Healthcare workers There were 245,987 registered doctors, 27,360 registered dentists and 116,659 registered nurses in 2020. The numbers have gone up since 2019 when there were 220,829 registered doctors, both at private and public hospitals, 22,595 dentists and 108,474 nurses. Life expectancy The country’s average life expectancy has increased from 66.9 years in 2017 to 67.3 years in 2019. Population growth There has been a decrease in the population growth rate, which has declined from 2% annually in 2018 to 1.9% in 2019. The survey claimed that according to the estimates of National Institute of Population Studies (NIPS), the population of Pakistan is 215.25 million and population density of 270 per square km. Population falling in the age group of 15-59 years is 59pc whereas 27pc are between 15 and 29 years. Pakistan’s contraceptive prevalence rate in 2019 stayed stagnant at 34 %. Health expenditure The health-related expenditure increased by 14.3% from Rs 421.8 billion in 2018-19 to Rs 482.3 billion in 2019-20. During FY2021, PSDP allocations of Rs 20,193.9 million were made for 71 health sector projects. However, Pakistan’s spending on health at the federal level was 1.2% of its GDP, much below the World Health Organization’s recommendation that countries should spend 5% of its GDP on health.