India ranks 145th among 195 countries in healthcare, disparity among states


Mains Paper 2: Governance | Issues relating to development and management of Social Sector/Services relating to Health, Education, Human Resources.

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:

Prelims level: Particulars of the report and India’s ranking and performance in recent years

Mains level: The report highlights stagnation of healthcare system in India esp. for certain diseases like TB etc.


Highlights of the HAQ Report

  1. India ranks a lowly 145th among 195 countries in terms of healthcare access and quality in 2016, as assessed in a Global Burden of Disease study published in The Lancet.
  2. The global average HAQ score was 54.4. Iceland and Norway top the list with a HAQ score of 97 each.
  3. India’s HAQ score is 41.2, up from 24.7 in 1990 showing improvement.
  4. For the first time, the study also analysed healthcare access and quality between regions of seven countries including India.
  5. The study used an index based on 32 causes of death that should be preventable with effective medical care. Each country was given a healthcare access and quality (HAQ) score between 0-100.

Performance by States

  1. Goa and Kerala had the highest scores in 2016, both over 60, whereas Assam and Uttar Pradesh had the lowest, both below 40.
  2. Particularly low were scores like 12 for skin cancer, 24 for neonatal deaths and adverse medical treatment, and 30 for tuberculosis and chronic kidney ailments.

Low score in TB

  1. This is not surprising, since India accounts for nearly 30 per cent of global TB deaths.
  2. TB being often missed by practitioners and MDR-TB is diagnosed very late.

What are its inferences?

  1. This scorecard shows that the health system is weak in our country.
  2. While centrally funded schemes have provided health access in some areas, quality has not improved in certain states.


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