India’s missing patients

Thursday, August 6, 2015

When one thinks of ill-health in India, one typically associates it with poor states with a history of poor health outcomes such as Madhya Pradesh or Jharkhand.

So, you may be surprised to know that the highest proportion of people reporting illnesses last year was in the state of Kerala, widely considered to be an epitome of attainment in human development outcomes. Tamil Nadu, another vaunted welfare state, ranks just four notches below Kerala in that list, according to the recently published results of a national survey on health conducted by the National Sample Survey Office (NSSO) in the first half of 2014. …

Seen in isolation, and taken at face value, the data seems to suggest that states such as Kerala and Tamil Nadu are among India’s unhealthiest states, while people in states such as Madhya Pradesh, Jharkhand and Assam are brimming with health. But when seen with other correlates of health such as the access to healthcare, or the level of infant mortality rates, it becomes clear that the numbers are grossly distorted by a reporting effect.

Source: LiveMint (link opens in a new window)

Health Care