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A new study published in the journal The Lancet, has reported that nearly 2.4 million Indians die of treatable conditions every year, which is the worst among 136 nations studied for the report.
Poor quality of healthcare in India led to more deaths than insufficient access to healthcare 1.6 million Indians died due to poor quality of care in 2016, nearly double the people who die due to non-utilisation of healthcare services (838,000 persons).
For too long, the global health discourse has been focused on improving access to care, without sufficient emphasis on high quality care, Muhammad Pate, co-chairperson of the commission that produced the report, said in a press statement. Providing health services without guaranteeing a minimum level of quality is ineffective, wasteful and unethical, he added.
In the report, it has been noted that almost 122 Indians per 100,000 die due to poor quality of care each year, meaning that the death rate due to poor quality of healthcare in India is worse than that of Brazil (74), Russia (91), China (46) and South Africa (93) and even its neighbours Pakistan (119), Nepal (93), Bangladesh (57) and Sri Lanka (51).
Quality care should not be a privilege for a lucky few, in a few countries. Health system must effectively protect, treat and respect all people, especially the vulnerable, said the study.
The study, which was compiled by 30 public health experts from 18 countries, with support from the Gates Foundation and Harvard T H Chan School of Public Health, also noted that mere access to healthcare wasn t enough and good quality care was needed for better outcomes.
The recommendations by the commission said that accountability and transparency on health system performance were the ways to improve healthcare quality.
The report also says that health metrics like availability of medicines, equipment and skilled attendants does not showcase the quality of care and can even lead to false complacency about progress. And adds that a dashboard of metrics should be implemented by countries by 2021 to enable transparent measurement and reporting of quality care.
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