In­dus­tri­alised Maha’s health re­port not the most glow­ing

Lancet Study Puts It In Mid­dle On List Of States

The Times of India (Mumbai edition) - - TIMES CITY -

Mum­bai: Av­er­age life ex­pectancy in Ma­ha­rash­tra, con­sid­ered one of the most in­dus­tri­alised states of In­dia, has risen by al­most 10 years be­tween 1990 and 2016, but its per­for­mance on sev­eral key health pa­ram­e­ters is still be­low the national mean.

This was one of the re­sults in the In­dia State-Level Dis­ease Bur­den Ini­tia­tive re­port pub­lished in med­i­cal journal Lancet on Tues­day. It came af­ter In­dia, for the first time, re­leased state-wise data of bur­den of dis­eases over a 30-year pe­riod.

“Ma­ha­rash­tra seems to be in the mid­dle. There is grow­ing aware­ness about health across Ma­ha­rash­tra, but a lot more needs to be done,” said Dr P C Gupta of Mum­bai-based Healis Sekh- saria Foun­da­tion and one of the co-au­thors of the study.

Ma­ha­rash­tra’s tribal are- as have poor pub­lic health in­fra­struc­ture and poor health out­comes, pulling down the over­all av­er­age of the state, he added.

Health econ­o­mist Dr Ravi Dug­gal said Ma­ha­rash­tra’s per­for­mance was a re­flec­tion of its low ex­pen­di­ture on health. “Ma­ha­rash­tra is the low­est spender on pub­lic health across the coun­try. It spends only 0.48% of the Gross State Do­mes­tic Prod­uct (GSDP) as com­pared to 1.2% of other states,” said Dug­gal. Ma­ha­rash­tra’s in­ad­e­quate health ex­pen­di­ture puts it on a par with the Bi­maru states, he added.

Ex­perts say the state’s in­ad­e­quate ex­pen­di­ture on pub­lic health means peo­ple are forced to go to the pri­vate sec­tor, which is among the strong­est in Ma­ha­rash­tra. “How­ever, many peo­ple can­not af­ford to go to the pri­vate sec­tor on a reg­u­lar ba­sis, and hence, the dis­ease bur­den could be higher in the state,” said Dug­gal.

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