While the focus of the government has been to improve the quality of doctors, a new study by Lancet indicates that India has got bigger problems. The Lancet data, based on the Global Burden of Disease Study 2015, points out that the country ranks 143 out of 188 nations scoring poorly on pollution (PM2.5 levels), malaria and hygiene levels.
While the country was ranked higher than Pakistan, it lagged Bhutan, Botswana, and even war-torn Syria on the index which is culled from the Sustainable Development Goals set by the United Nations last year in September. The only solace for the country was its rankings for neglected tropical diseases, obesity and under-five mortality rate.
With a doctor-patient ratio of 1:1,674 the country certainly does need more doctors, but it also needs a slew of health and hygiene awareness programmes in order to stave off the danger from many common diseases—recently, another Lancet study showed that infant mortality in the country due to antibiotic resistance was on the rise, caused by lack of hygiene. While the country has almost 50 health initiatives according to a recent SAARC country report, to cater to urban and rural population, there is a need for better coordination to achieve its SDG goals.