India is 145th in healthcare access and quality even as global averages improve

  • India is behind Bhutan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka on the index.
  • The country has been given a score of 45 on the index.
  • Goa and Kerala indexed with a score of more than 60.
India is placed 145th out of 195 countries with an overall score of 45 in the healthcare access and quality index, according to a new study. The study, which uses a number between 0 to 100 to rank countries based on the quality and accessibility of healthcare, is based on 32 causes of death that can be prevented if proper healthcare is available in the region.

The score which came up from 24.7 in 1990 is still lower than its neighbouring countries.

India currently ranks below its neighbouring countries of Bhutan (53), Bangladesh (52), and Sri Lanka (73) in the index but it's above Afghanistan (32), and Pakistan (43).


Advancements in technology over the past decades have resulted in the increase in quality and access to healthcare in India. The country's top performers include Kerala, Goa, Delhi and Himachal Pradesh. The Worst index ranks were given to Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand (34.7), Bihar (37), Odisha (36.3), Uttar Pradesh (34.9) and Assam (34).

The Global average healthcare access and quality score increased from 42.4 in 2000 to 54.4 in 2016. Though the global average increased, the gap between the worst and the best country widened (29 in the Central African Republic and 95 in Andorra).

Similar trends were seen in India where the gap between the highest and lowest scores of healthcare access and quality has also widened. Currently, the states of Uttar Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Odisha, Bihar and Assam have a score below 38, whereas the union territory Goa and the state of Kerala have the highest score in 2016, exceeding 60 points.

These regional differences in the index score can be due to multiple reasons, such as variations in,medical infrastructure, the quality of medical technologies available, physical access to healthcare facilities, and the availability of effective services and treatments.

India needs to come a long way in healthcare access quality and technology in order to start with the global leaders. There is an urgent need to improve access and quality of healthcare. "These results emphasise the urgent need to improve both access to and quality of healthcare, otherwise health systems could face widening gaps between the health services they provide and the disease burden in their population," says senior author of the study Dr Rafael Lozano, Institute of Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington, USA.

In countries where population is so high, the healthcare quality and access are increasing at a rate that is considerably below the required health need of the population.