Patient welfare systems in private tertiary-care hospitals in Karachi

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Health Policy & Management (MSc Health Policy & Mgmt)


Community Health Sciences


Health is a right of every human being. All nations have agreed and endorsed these rights, on various international fora. Social work has evolved through centuries; Man realized the tremendous benefits that he could reap by living together in small communities. Today, philanthropists and social workers have grouped together to form voluntary social welfare set-ups; most of which are labeled as Patient Welfare Organization. There are some fundamental features for an organization to qualify as Patient Welfare Organization. Such an organization is essentially a Non Governmental Organization in the sense that it is invariably independent from the direct control of the government and it is apolitical, non-profit making organization. Due to the proliferation of Patient Welfare Organizations in Pakistan and their increasing role in patient welfare, it is important, that studies be conducted to understand those factors and processes that can enhance the capacities of Patient Welfare Organization. A study was conducted to explore the financing mechanism and the system adopted by the management for appropriate usage of funds in the Patient Welfare Organization. A qualitative study was conducted in two tertiary care hospitals in Karachi, The Aga Khan University Hospital and The Kidney Center Institute during July- September 2004. The paid staff, the persons who are retired from these organizations and the persons who had done their internships at these organizations were interviewed. Data was obtained by in-depth interviews through a semi structured session /interview guide. A total of l2 semi structured in-depth interviews were conducted during the data collection. The study found the financial mechanism of Patient Welfare Organization includes generation of funds for these originations; the funds are collected usually through distribution of flyers before the month of Ramazan, printing of brochures in which details about the Patient Welfare Organization of the hospital are spelt out. The donors are identified by the lists, which the organizations have. Any mode of contribution is acceptable to these organizations. Generation of profit is only on the surplus funds if available by investing in the 6 Islamic Banks. There is no refusal of any donations whatever the source is. The eligibility criteria for patient welfare are assessed properly by assessment of the salary, family income and expenses in terms of health and education by the organization. No privilege in the treatment for the donors to the organization. The methods used for appropriate usage of funds are making the easy access of the book of accounts to the donors, regular auditing on monthly and annual basis and maintenance of records of donations. The finance manager of the Patient Welfare Organization is responsible for maintenance of records include both donations and disbursements. The study found that the motivation, which is required for such organizations to run, is lacking. These organizations need more participation both from the community and its own staff. The Patient Welfare Organization that works for the betterment of the patients and wishes to be successful should try to be participatory, democratic and maximize people's involvement.

This document is available in the relevant AKU library