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Costs and utilization of public sector family planning services in Pakistan
Authors: Abbas K, Khan AA, Khan A.
Source: Journal of Pakistan Medical Association, 63(4 Suppl 3):S33-9.
Topic(s): Family planning
Country: Asia
Published: APR 2013
Abstract: INTRODUCTION: The public sector provides a third of family planning (FP) services in Pakistan. However, these services are viewed as being underutilized and expensive. We explored the utilization patterns and costs of FP services in the public sector. METHODS: We used overall budgets and time allocation by health and population departments to estimate the total costs of FP by these departments, costs per woman served, and costs per couple-year of protection (CYP). RESULTS: The public sector is the predominant provider of FP to the poorest and is the main provider of female sterilization services. The overall costs of FP in the public sector are USD 55 per woman served, annually (USD 17 per CYP). Within the public sector, the population welfare departments provide services at USD 72 per woman served, annually (USD 17 per CYP) and the health departments at USD 39 per woman per year (USD 29 per CYP). CONCLUSION: While the public sector has a critical niche in serving the poor and providing female sterilization, its services are considerably more expensive compared to international and even some Pakistani non-government organization (NGO) costs. This reflects inefficiencies in services provided, client mistrust in the quality of services provided, and inadequate referrals, and will require specific actions for improving referrals and the quality of services.