Skip to main content

UK report places India 67th in Quality of Death Index, says despite economic growth it ranks low in health care

By Our Representative
A new report by the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU), United Kingdom, has ranked India on 67th position in the Quality of Death Index (QDI) of 80 countries it has selected. The index is meant to measure how well do governments across the world work to improve life for their citizens so that they “die well”, insisting, economic growth alone cannot improve health facilities for the aged.
A measure of quality of palliative care available to adults, QDI seeks to analyse the approaches taken to “improve the quality of life of patients and their families facing the problems associated with life-threatening illness, through the prevention and relief of suffering by means of early identification and impeccable assessment and treatment of pain and other problems, physical, psychosocial and spiritual”.
While India can console itself that China is placed worse, 71st, in QDI ranking, and Bangladesh on the 79th, the countries that do much better than India include Mongolia (28th), Argentina (32nd), South Africa (34th), Brazil (42nd), Mexico (43rd), Venezuela (45th), Russia (48th), Indonesia (53rd), Vietnam (58th), Kenya (63rd), and Sri Lanka (65th).
As expected, the developed countries better do best with United Kingdom topping, followed by Australia, New Zealand, Ireland, Belgium, Taiwan, Germany, Netherlands and the United States.
The report states, “While the European, Asia-Pacific and North American countries in the top of the index benefit from relatively high levels of government support, several less wealthy countries with less well developed healthcare systems stand out. These include Chile, Mongolia, Costa Rica and Lithuania, which appear in the top 30, at positions 27, 28, 29 and 30 respectively.”
Providing different categories which make up QDI, the report ranks India 51st in palliative and healthcare environment, saying, “India, which was at the bottom of the list in the 2010 Index, is at a slightly higher position in 2015—at 51—reflecting a stronger indication of government commitment.”
Then, India ranks 67th in the human resources category, 74th – one of the worst – in affordability of care category, 59th in the quality of care category, and 45th in community arrangement.
The report praises Mongolia in following words: “Mongolia is an impressive case. The driving force behind the increase in palliative care in the country is Odontuya Davaasuren, a doctor who is helping to build a national palliative care programme, pushing to change prescription regulations to make generic opioids available, training palliative care specialists, and working to include education on palliative care in the curricula for doctors, nurses and social workers.”
“By contrast”, the report states, “Some countries that might be expected to perform more strongly, given their rapid recent economic growth, rank at low positions in the index. India and China perform poorly overall, at positions 67 and 71 in the index. In the light of the size of their populations, this is worrying.”
The report adds, “While the budget allocation for India’s 2012 National Program for Palliative Care was withdrawn, elements of the strategy remains in place and, as a result, some teaching programmes are emerging across the country. Moreover, recent legislative changes have made it easier for doctors to prescribe morphine in India.”
Further, the report places India in the 60th position in the capacity to deliver palliative care, saying, “India has a shortage of specialised care professionals and accreditation for palliative care is not yet the norm.”
The report comments, “In India, the passing in 2014 of the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (Amendment) Act by parliament brings legal clarity for physicians wanting to prescribe opioids to their patients.”
It adds, “While work remains to be done to train doctors and nurses, the passing of the bill represents a major step forward for India, which was criticised in a 2009 Human Rights Watch report for failing to facilitate provision of opioid painkillers to its citizens (an issue also highlighted in the report accompanying the 2010 EIU QDI).”

Comments

TRENDING

Whistle-blowing IPS officer Sanjiv Bhatt's wife suspects foul play after truck hits her car

By Nachiketa Desai*
Paranoia has seized Shweta Bhatt, wife of suspended Indian Police Service (IPS) officer Sanjiv Bhatt, after the car she was driving was rammed in broad day light. According to Shweta Bhatt, it was beacon light-flashing truck without registration number plate. The incident took place on January 7, just a day ahead of the Gujarat High Court was scheduled to take up the bail application of Sanjiv Bhatt, arrested last year for "involvement" in a 23-year-old case.

Call to support IIM-Bangalore professor, censured for seeking action against Uniliver

Counterview Desk
Sections of the Indian Institute of Managements (IIMs) across India have strongly reacted to the decision to censure Dr Deepak Malghan, a faulty at IIM-Bangalore. Prabhir Vishnu Poruthiyil, who is faculty at IIM-Tiruchirapalli, has sought wider solidarity with Dr Malghan, saying, "The administration has censured Deepak for merely suggesting a meaningful action against Hindustan Unilever for their abysmal environmental record" by “disinviting” it for campus placement.

99% MGNREGA funds "exhausted", Govt of India makes no additional sanctions: Study

Counterview Desk
A letter, addressed to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, and prepared by senior activists led by Aruna Roy on behalf of the Peoples’ Action for Employment Guarantee (PAEG), and signed, among others, by 80 members of Parliament, has regretted that, despite repeated public statements by his government promising employment and job creation that will boost the country’s growth, the country’s only employment guarantee programme, Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA), “is being systematically undermined.”

Morari Bapu, who has installed new statues of Ram, Laxman, Hanuman without weapons

By Sandeep Pandey*
A saint is one who can give some inner peace by his/her voice. This will happen only when s(he) will talk about love and harmony. Morari Bapu is one saint who has been conveying the message of love, peace, harmony, fraternity, etc. Today when a number of saffron clad figures with aggressive posture, spewing venom, fanning hatred to polarise voters are at the forefront of politics of Hindutva it is a relief to see Morari Bapu in a different mould.

Nuclear reactors sought from French giant "not safe": Letter to Modi on Jaitapur project

Counterview Desk
Amidst reports that the French nuclear giant EDF has submitted a “techno-commercial offer” for the world’s largest nuclear power park proposed in Maharashtra’s Jaitapur nuclear power park in Jaitapur on the Maharashtra coast, Dr EAS Sarma, India’s former Union Secretary in the Minister of Power, and an eminent voice in the civil society, has written an open letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who also heads Department of Atomic Energy (DAE),  protesting the move.

World Bank clarifies: Its 26th rank to India not for universal access to power but for ease of doing business

By Our Representative
In a major embarrassment to the Government of India, the World Bank has reportedly clarified that it has not ranked India 26th out of 130 countries for providing power to its population. The top international banker’s clarification comes following Union Power Minister Piyush Goyal’s claim that India has “improved to 26 position from 99” in access to electricity in just one year.

Kerala land being acquired using "draconian, anti-people" National Highway Act, 1956

Counterview Desk
In a letter Chief Minister of Kerala Pinarayi Vijayan, senior activists and politicians have insisted that the Kerala government should not agree to "inhuman displacement and buid-operate-transfer (BOT) Toll system", imposed by the Government of India and the National Highway Authority of India, for widening the current National Highway (NH) 66.

Kaiga NPP expansion: Karnataka to get just 400 MW, but lose thick forest, fresh water

Counterview Desk
In an open letter to the chairman and members of the Atomic energy Commission (AEC) on the issue of Kaiga nuclear power plant (NPP) expansion plan in Karnataka, Shankar Sharma, well-known power policy analyst, has argued that that in case of expansion, the site will face “exponential increase in radiation emission risks”, underlining, “Nuclear safety experts identify such a scenario as enhanced risk for NPPs with multiple reactors and shared technical facilities."
Sharma says the questions that also be asked whether Karnataka should lose more than 54 hectares of thick forests and about 152,304 cubic meters of fresh water per day from Kali river for a meager benefit of 400 MW from the Kaiga NPP, for which “there are many benign alternative options available for the state at much lower overall costs to the state.”
Text of the letter: This has reference to the public hearing under the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) Rule 2006 of Ministry of Environment, Fore…

Uttarakhand High Court: Biodiversity boards can impose fees on Ramdev's Divya Pharmacy

By Mridhu Tandon
In a significant decision, the Uttarakhand High Court on December 21, 2018 has dismissed the writ petition filed by Divya Pharmacy founded by Baba Ramdev and Acharya Balakrishnan, challenging the demand of the Uttarakhand Biodiversity Board (UBB) imposing fees under the provisions of the Fair and Equitable Benefit Sharing (FEBS).

Modi becoming Prime Minister now appears to be an "accident" to the people of India

By Sandeep Pandey*
Anupam Kher's film 'Accidental Prime Minister' has targeted Dr Manmohan Singh who served for two terms and may be again acceptable for the job if his party regains power. But his tormentor Narendra Modi seems to be out of breath even before his first term is over. Disillusionment with him is so widespread and deep that people of India may not bear with him for another term. As the general elections approach again the difference between the two needs to be examined.