According to a recent Lancet study named The Global Burden of Disease, India currently ranks 145th among 195 countries in terms of quality and accessibility of healthcare; falling behind regional neighbors like China, Bangladesh, and Sri Lanka.
The study, however, also mentioned that India has seen improvements in the sector since 1990.
In 2016, India’s healthcare access and quality scored at 41.2, whereas in 1990 it was at a low score of 24.7.
“Although India’s improvements on the HAQ (healthcare access and quality) index hastened from 2000 to 2016, the gap between the country’s highest and lowest scores widened (23·4-point difference in 1990, and 30·8-point difference in 2016),” the study stated.
It also remarked that Goa and Kerala had the highest HAQ scores in 2016, each exceeding 60 points, whereas Assam and Uttar Pradesh had the lowest, each below 40.
India is lagging behind China (48), Sri Lanka (71), Bangladesh (133), and Bhutan (134), with a health index still better than those of Nepal (149), Pakistan (154), and Afghanistan (191).
Iceland (97.1 points), Norway (96.6), the Netherlands (96.1), Luxembourg (96.0), and Finland and Australia (each with 95.9), were the top five countries with the highest HAQ scores in 2016.
On the other end of the ladder, drawing concern, were Central African Republic (18.6), Somalia (19.0), Guinea-Bissau (23.4), Chad (25.4), and Afghanistan (25.9) with the lowest scores.
According to the Lancet study, India performed has been inefficient in handling cases of diseases like tuberculosis, rheumatic heart diseases, Ischaemic heart diseases, stroke, testicular cancer, colon cancer, and chronic kidney disease among others such.
The study believes that, “These results emphasize the urgent need to improve both access to and quality of health care across service areas and for all populations; otherwise, health systems could face widening gaps between the health services they provide and the disease burden experienced by local communities”.
The Lancet study used an index to measure the quality and accessibility of healthcare, based on 32 causes of death which should be preventable with effective medical care. Each of the 195 countries and territories assessed were given a score between 0-100.
As a first, the study also analyzed inter-regional healthcare access and quality within seven countries: Brazil, China, England, India, Japan, Mexico, and the U.S.A.