By Matters India Reporter
New Delhi, September 14, 2019: India’s Health Care Index stood at 19 among 89 countries in the world in 2019, says latest edition of a US magazine.
According to the list CEOWORLD published early last month, Thailand (6th) was among the few Asian countries which managed to enter the top 10 in 2019, along with South Korea in second place and Japan in third place.
Of the 89 countries surveyed, Taiwan’s health care topped the list, scoring 78.72 out of 100 on the Health Care Index. At the opposite end of the spectrum, with a score of 33.42, Venezuela was named the country with the worst health care system in 2019.
The Health Care Index is a statistical analysis of the overall quality of a country’s healthcare system, including infrastructure; health care professionals’ (doctors, nursing staff, and other health workers) competence, cost, availability of quality medicine, and government readiness, according to the CEOWORLD website.
It also takes into consideration other factors including, environmental sustainability, access to clean water, sanitation, government readiness on imposing penalties on high-risk behaviour, such as tobacco use, and excess sugar intake.
India received an overall score of 52.1 out of 100. Breaking down the figure into categories, the country was given a score of 74.2 for its healthcare infrastructure, 17.84 for professionals’ competence, 63.51 for cost, 97.84 for medicine availability and 89.98 for government readiness.
European countries dominate the list, with Austria leading at fourth place, followed by Denmark (5th), Spain (7th), France (8th) and Belgium (9th).
Australia rounded out the 10th place.
India’s neighbors’ positions were such as Nepal (61), Sri Lanka (40), Bangladesh (85) and Pakistan (88).
Other Asian countries’ ranks were Singapore (34), Hong Kong (36), Philippines (38), China (46), Indonesia (52) and Vietnam (66).
Speaking about the latest healthcare index, Jesuit social activist Father Irudaya Jothi from West Bengal told Matters India, “In India there is a big urban and rural divide in terms of healthcare service, especially when rural healthcare very much depends on the village quacks.”
Father Jothi is the former director of Udayani, the social service wing of the Kolkata Jesuits.
He also said that India has many well-furnished private multi-specialty research hospitals often meant for the rich and those who can afford them. Besides, there is medical tourism for the privileged of the world, but the ordinary rural citizens will have to be settled with the traditional medical practitioners and quacks.
This is called the myths and reality of India when it comes to healthcare services. The condition of public health centres is appalling. Anyway in India the health is a concern of the state government and as such different states will have different levels of importance, he bemoaned.
“So I would say that I am happy that India seems to be better than many countries in this part of the world but the reality in rural India is much to be desired. The pharmaceutical companies seem to have upper hand in controlling the health of Indian citizens, among other factors,” Father Jothi added.