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India ranks 145th in healthcare access and quality

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A Lancet study has ranked India at 145th position among 195 countries in terms of quality and accessibility of healthcare.

Stating that India has improved its rank in terms of accessibility and quality of healthcare since 1990, the Global Burden of Disease study places the country behind its neighbours like China, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Bhutan.

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 said.

China, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Bhutan have been placed at 48, 71, 133 and 134th position respectively.

As per the study India fares better than Nepal (149), Pakistan (154) and Afghanistan (191).

Among Indian States, Goa and Kerala had the highest scores in 2016, each exceeding 60 points, whereas Assam and Uttar Pradesh had the lowest, each below 40.

Top five countries with the highest scores 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 having the lowest levels of healthcare access and quality were the Central African Republic (18.6), Somalia (19.0), Guinea-Bissau (23.4), Chad (25.4), and Afghanistan (25.9).

“These results emphasise 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,” it said.

The Lancet study used an index to measure the quality and accessibility of healthcare. It considered 32 causes of death which should be preventable with effective medical care.

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