A recent report by Global Burden of Disease in The Lancet reveals that India has recorded 44.8% on healthcare index. Its performance is poorer than several neighbouring Asian nations, including Bangladesh, Bhutan, Sri Lanka and China in last 25 years.
As per the report, India’s healthcare index has seen an increase of 14.1 % in last 25 years, going up from 30.7 % in 1990 to 44.8 % in 2015, but the increase in numbers are lesser when compared to Sri Lanka (72.8 %), Bangladesh (51.7%), Bhutan (52.7%) and Nepal (50.8%).
The data in the report, takes a look at 195 countries, between the years of 1990 to 2015, and assesses the measuring mortality rates from 32 diseases which should not be fatal in presence of effective medical care.
Dr Arun Gadre, Member of Alliance of doctors for ethical healthcare said, “In last 60 years the Indian healthcare sector has been polluted. It is unorganised. Without providing basic health services, preventive measures at the primary level such as running health schemes are not going to benefit poor patients”.
“What about clean water which can reduce 50% diseases? The marginal section of society which includes economically backward people, people rural parts of the country, and women are still deprived from primary healthcare. 80% patients prefer private hospitals, and then they are overburden with expenses. How can we have a good rank in health index then?” Gadre said.
Dr Harish Shetty, Senior Psychiatrist at Dr LH Hiranandani Hospital, Mumbai said, “As we are a developing nation we are running after growth rapidly. People working long hours, unhealthy habits, junk food all of this leads to many lifestyle diseases. The health curve of employees needs to be considered along with the profit curve”.
He further stated, “To have a healthy country there should be political will for a good amount of investment in the health sector. Also access and affordability of healthcare services and eradication of corruption in health sector is needed”.
Dr Shetty also said that, states like Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan lack primary healthcare and has poor neonatal and maternal care.
The report showed that India has performed among the worst countries in preventing deaths from Neonatal disorders, with an index rate of 14.
Dr Paras Kothari, head of paediatric surgery department at Lokmanya Tilak Municipal General (Sion) Hospital said, “We have less investment and fewer shares in GDP. How we are going to treat patients without good infrastructure? This is an important issue the government has to think about this seriously “.
In dealing with rheumatic heart diseases, India has scored an index of 25; in tuberculosis, an index of 26, and in chronic kidney diseases, and an index of 20. Diabetes (38), Appendicitis (38) and Peptic ulcer disease (39) are other major area of concerns for India’s health department.
Dr Harin Vyas, Consultant Cardiologist at Fortis Hospital, Mulund said, “It’s mainly because of the fragmented healthcare system we have. Another reason is poor explanations of particular diseases by physicians to their patients. This leads to poor compliance. Also expensive medications and investigations increase financial pressure on patients”.