Population based data on disease patterns, health services utilization and cost incurred on treatment in Pakistan were collected through a nation-wide sample survey in 1982-83. The survey for the first time revealed, the burden of disease on the society. The analysis done here suggest, that about one-sixth of the population suffered from an illness during the past one month period. As expected, illness was more prevalent among children, women in reproductive ages and the elderly. Over two-thirds of those who fell ill, suffered from malaria and fever and one-fifth from diarrhoea and dysenteries. There was heavy reliance on private physicians for treatment of those who fell, about two- thirds in the urban and one-third in the rural areas, consulted private physicians. On the other hand, in both the areas, less than one-sixth utilized the government health facilities. The cost of health care on an average, was 4% of the total income in the urban and 5% in the rural areas. In both the areas, this constituted over 7% of the monthly household income of the poorest. Suggestions are made to overcome the high cost of health care through broad based national health policy and implementation of primary health care programme.