India has a lot of catching up to do with its neighbours, including China, Bangladesh, Bhutan and Sri Lanka in terms of health care. According to the Global Burden of Disease Study (GBD) published in the medical journal The Lancet, it has finished a dismal 154th among 195 countries on the healthcare index.
However, India’s healthcare access and quality (HAQ) index has increased by 14.1, up from 30.7 in 1990 to 44.8 in 2015. India lags behind Sri Lanka (72.8), Bangladesh (51.7), Bhutan (52.7) and Nepal (50.8) and ranks above Pakistan (43.1) and Afghanistan (32.5). The HAQ index, based on death rates for 32 diseases that can be avoided or effectively treated with proper medical care, also tracked progress in each nation compared to the benchmark year of 1990.
As per the study, India has performed poorly in tackling cases of tuberculosis, diabetes, chronic kidney diseases and rheumatic heart diseases. The journal lists India among the biggest underachievers in Asia in health care access. Switzerland topped the health index, followed by Sweden and Norway. China stood 82nd and Sri Lanka 73rd. Among the developed nations, those who did not perform well include the US and the UK.