New Delhi: Raising serious concerns over poor quality of public healthcare, a new research has shown that three out of five lives can be saved each year if quality healthcare is provided.
The research published in The Lancet analysed data from more than 18 countries and showed that poor quality healthcare is responsible for a greater number of deaths than insufficient access to care.
The findings showed 60% of deaths from conditions treatable by public health system are due to poor quality care. It includes 84% of cardiovascular deaths, 81% of vaccine preventable diseases, 61% of neonatal conditions and half of maternal, road injury, tuberculosis, HIV and other infectious disease deaths.
“Providing health services without guaranteeing a minimum level of quality is ineffective, wasteful, and unethical," said Dr. Muhammad Pate, co-chair, the Lancet Global Health Commission, the first to quantify burden of poor quality health systems worldwide.
Researchers highlighted poor quality healthcare as a key factor of mortality in India with 1.6 million deaths in 2016, compared with 838,000 deaths due to non-utilization of healthcare system.
In comparison, 660,000 deaths occurred in China due to poor quality care.
“The human right to health is meaningless without good quality care. Countries will know they are on the way towards high quality when health workers and policymakers choose to receive healthcare in their own public institutions," said Dr. Margaret E. Kruk, Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health, US, who led the commission comprising 30 academics, policymakers and health system experts.
High mortality rate was seen among those who suffered from cardiovascular diseases, neonatal conditions and tuberculosis and received poor healthcare.
One-third of people reported poor experiences—lack of respect, long wait times and short consultations at public health centres. In India, over half of the households avoided their nearby public health facility due to quality concerns, according to The Lancet report.
While mothers and children receive less than half of recommended clinical actions during a hospital visit, less than half of suspected cases of tuberculosis are correctly managed, and less than one in ten people diagnosed with major depressive disorder receive minimally adequate treatment.
‘Diagnoses are frequently incorrect for serious conditions such as pneumonia, myocardial infarction and newborn asphyxia," the study said adding vulnerable sections of the society are most affected.
According to the findings, the wealthiest women attending ante-natal care are four times more likely to report blood pressure measurements, and urine and blood tests compared to the poorest women.