India ranks 145th among 195 countries in terms of quality and accessibility of healthcare and it is behind its neighbours like China, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Bhutan, according to a Lancet study. The Global Burden of Disease study, however, mentioned that India has seen improvements in healthcare access and quality since 1990. In 2016, India’s healthcare access and quality scored at 41.2 (up from 24.7 in 1990).
“Although India’s improvements on the healthcare access and quality HAQ 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 said that Goa and Kerala had the highest scores in 2016, each exceeding 60 points, whereas Assam and Uttar Pradesh had the lowest, each below 40.
India lags behind China (48), Sri Lanka (71), Bangladesh ( 133) and Bhutan (134) while its health index was better than those of Nepal (149), Pakistan (154) and Afghanistan (191). The five countries with the highest levels of healthcare access and quality in 2016 were Iceland (97.1 points), Norway (96.6), the Netherlands (96.1), Luxembourg (96.0), and Finland and Australia (each with 95.9). The countries with the lowest scores were the Central African Republic (18.6), Somalia (19.0), Guinea-Bissau (23.4), Chad (25.4), and Afghanistan (25.9).
According to the study, India performed poorly in tackling cases of tuberculosis, rheumatic heart diseases, Ischaemic heart diseases, stroke, testicular cancer, colon cancer and chronic kidney disease among others.
Subnational inequalities were particularly pronounced in China and India, although high-income countries, including England and the US, also saw considerable local gaps in performance, it said.