Pakistan ranks 154th among 195 countries in terms of quality and accessibility of healthcare, behind its South Asian counterparts Bangladesh, India and Sri Lanka, according to a Lancet study. The study, carried out by the leading medical journal The Lancet, mentioned that Pakistan has seen improvement in healthcare access and quality since 1990, with its HAQ index increasing from 26.8 in 1990 to 37.6 in 2016.
But despite the gains, Pakistan continues to lag behind India, which ranks 145th, China (48), Sri Lanka (71), Bangladesh (133) and Bhutan (134). Afghanistan, ranked 191st, fares far worse.
According to the study, Pakistan performed poorly in tackling cases of tuberculosis, diarrhoeal diseases, neonatal diseases, uterine cancer, leukemia, among others.
The five countries with the highest levels of healthcare access and quality (in 2016) were Iceland (97.1 points), Norway (96.6), the Netherlands (96.1), Luxembourg (96.0), and Finland and Australia (each with 95.9). The countries with the lowest scores were the Central African Republic (18.6), Somalia (19.0), Guinea-Bissau (23.4), Chad (25.4), and Afghanistan (25.9). The study pointed out that subnational inequalities were particularly pronounced in countries such as China and India, although high-income countries, including England and the US, also saw considerable local gaps in performance.