Death rate goes up with distance from district hospital

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Better access to district hospitals may have prevented close to 50,000 of the estimated 72,000 deaths in India due to acute or sudden abdominal conditions in 2010, according to a study published in Lancet Global Health journal.

Researchers from the University of Toronto, who mapped district hospitals and reviewed the quality of healthcare in over 3,800 of 4,064 “postal codes” in India, found that “mortality increased with increasing distance from surgical care”, with people living at 100 km or more from a “well-resourced district hospital” at the highest risk.

While conducting the first study of its kind to review deaths before patients reach hospitals in India, the authors extrapolated from Registrar General of India data on population-based deaths from 2001-2003 and national deaths in 2010, and found that only 21 per cent of around 72,000 deaths due to acute abdominal conditions occurred in hospitals.

Source: The Indian Express (link opens in a new window)

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