There are just 6,125 private doctors engaged in general practice in this nation of about 90 million people, and only a handful work in rural areas where most of the people live, the Pakistan Times reported last week.
The paper, quoting a government survey, said that many rural people depend on traditional village healers who use herbs or other methods to treat the sick. It quoted the report as describing such healers as "quacks" and said there are more than 55,000 of them.
The report did not say how many doctors are employed by the government to staff hospitals and clinics. Private doctors serve as general practitioners, with the hospitals generally dealing with serious cases.