Industrialised Maha’s health report not the most glowing
Lancet Study Puts It In Middle On List Of States
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.