How Canada’s CSR Program Can Help the Healthcare Sector in Pakistan

How Canada’s CSR Program Can Help the Healthcare Sector in Pakistan

How Canada’s CSR Program Can Help the Healthcare Sector in Pakistan

“In the next decade, the most successful companies will be those that integrate sustainability into their core business.” – Jim Owens  (CEO, Caterpillar)

The profitable growth of the companies in this era heavily depends on the economics, environmental and social sustainability of the communities across the world. So it is in their best interests to contribute to the sustainability of the communities. How Canada CSR Program Can Help the Healthcare Sector in Pakistan. How Canada CSR Program Can Help the Healthcare Sector in Pakistan.

Creating a strong business and building a better world are not contradictory goals. In fact, they both are essential for gaining long-term success. The greater the company expands the more responsibility awaits them; it’s a fact that resonates the judicious words of Winston Churchill “Responsibility is the price of greatness”.

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CSR in Canada:

The government of Canada encourages companies to do business in a Canadian way and expects Canadian companies operating abroad to respect human rights and all applicable laws and to meet or exceed recognized international standards for responsible business conducts. For companies operating where local laws do not align with Canadian values, the Canadian government encourages them to find ways to reflect Canadian values while respecting local values.

The government of Canada holds positive outlook towards CSR which states  “Responsible corporate behavior not only boost a company’s chances for success but can create economic benefits for Canada and other countries where the companies have a presence. Investing and operating responsibility helps companies promote Canadian values internationally and contribute to the sustainable development of communities.”

Prowse Chowne LLP, the Law Firm located at Edmonton, had explained the CSR Law in Canada which says “ The Canadian Government provides Canadian businesses with CSR-related guidance, through Canadian embassies and missions abroad. The government recognizes the fact that the actions of the company alone do not guarantee either commercial success or sustainable local benefits. A wide range of interlocutors works with The Government of Canada’ to promote CSR.

The government of Canada has always promoted CSR through various programs which are hosted in the country and abroad. According to Prowse Chowne LLP “The Canadian government’s network of diplomatic missions abroad is responsible for active promotion and understanding of the importance of responsible business practice. These promotions also create opportunities for relationship building through conferences, workshops, and other activities. These other activities include companies, representatives of host governments, and civil society. In addition to that, Canada has been providing funds to various CSR projects and initiatives around the world.” 

How CSR in Canada can help the healthcare sector in Pakistan:

Canada had announced a contribution of $ 40 million Canadian dollars last year to support the eradication of polio in Pakistan over the next 3 years. The contribution from the Government of Canada will strengthen community support for polio eradication, raise awareness and support recruitment and training for a community-based vaccinators’ project, implemented by UNICEF, while WHO will strengthen supplementary immunization operations, campaign, and post-campaign monitoring, surveillance and monitoring efforts to detect and track the poliovirus. How Canada CSR Program Can Help the Healthcare Sector in Pakistan.

 In collaboration with Canada, Pakistan has made a significant progress in the fight against polio so far.  According to the Independent Monitoring Board for Polio Eradication, the Pakistan Polio Technical Advisory Group, and the World Health Assembly; Pakistan has achieved an 82% reduction in the number of children affected by polio, down to 54 cases compared to 306 in 2014. 

Cristian Munduate, UNICEF Deputy Representative in Pakistan has appreciated the success saying “We have already significantly increased the number of vaccinators and empowered them to vaccinate children most at risk. There has been real progress in reducing the number of new infections. The support from the Government of Canada is a massive boost in the battle to rid Pakistan of the scourge of polio.”

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Poliovirus can spread across national borders, it can affect any of us, regardless of our ethnicity, culture or religion or nationality and leave millions of lives crippled. This remarkable investment of the Canadian government in the healthcare sector will ensure future generations in Pakistan a healthy life. They will no longer have their lives paralyzed  by this crippling disease and Canada has contributed significantly to living up to this commitment.

The Healthcare sector of Pakistan comprises of both public and private segments. Though there have been a lot of complaints with messy health facilities provided by the public hospitals in the country, a few private hospitals have outperformed all but in exchange for a cost.

Murtaza Haider a Toronto based academic and the director of Regionomics.com wrote an article  to The Dawn, which clearly portrayed the persisting discrimination in the healthcare field of Pakistan “If you could afford it, the quality of healthcare in Pakistan beats even that in advanced economies, where often one has to wait for months, or even longer, to see specialists for specialized procedures.”

Murtaza continued “Excellent healthcare is being provided in Pakistan but at a cost. An overwhelming majority of Pakistanis cannot afford the specialized healthcare that they desperately need. The challenge, therefore, is to enable access to quality healthcare to those who cannot afford it.”

Here is a stark contrast between the Canadian and Pakistani health sectors pointed out by Murtaza. For example, the non-emergency MRI scan may take three months in Canada but the patient is not charged for the diagnostics. In Pakistan, the tests can be done immediately but at a cost. The MRI scan alone is too expensive for the majority of Pakistanis.

The widespread poverty, abysmally low spending in the public healthcare sector and the miseries of the poor to forego even necessary healthcare services opens up a good prospect for big Canadian companies to invest in the healthcare sector of Pakistan as this problem needs to be addressed with an effective CSR strategy.

Canadian companies alongside its government can invest a handsome amount in the healthcare sector ,saccelerating the spending of Pakistan’s government to the required  5 percent of the GDP.  In this way, the Canadian CSR programmes can help to broaden the tertiary care to preventive and primary care.   At the same time, these companies can set up  CSR programmes to build alternative and cost-efficient services for the poor.

Conclusion:

How Canada CSR Program Can Help the Healthcare Sector in Pakistan. According to Prowse Chowne LLP “ There are a variety of initiatives in place by the Government of Canada that demonstrates that Canada has a longstanding commitment when it comes to promoting responsible business practices. The government, through its actions, facilitates the commercial success of Canadian companies active abroad. At the same time, it enhances the contribution of their activities to facilitate economic growth of Canada and its trading partners, which includes developing and emergent economies. The government works with the Canadian business community, civil society organizations, foreign governments, and communities, along with other stakeholders to encourage and promote business practices that are ethical and responsible in nature. This adds support to sustainable economic growth and shared value.”

The medical device market alone in Pakistan worth $259.7 Million USD and the total expenditure on health during 2014 – 15 March was estimated to be 14.2 billion which is increasing significantly day by day. Therefore, Pakistan healthcare sector has a great prospect for investment. Now that the Canadian Government holds a friendly and positive agenda towards CSR unlike other countries like USA or UK  and directly encourages them to operate business abiding by CSR laws,  the companies should step up immediately. 

The business of business is not always about money but responsibility. A  business grows to great when it is about the public good and not private greed. Just like Benjamin Franklin had said “ It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it. If you think about that you’ll do things differently.”

So Goodness is the true investment that never fails in business especially when they are operating among communities and people.

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