Health Inequity in India


Vol NO: VOL. 14, ISSUE 85,

"Since the declaration of the millennium development goals (MDG) in 2000, there has been constant effort towards equitable progress. With just a year to the 2015 deadline for achieving the eight globally agreed MDGs, the need for monitoring the efforts becomes pertinent.

According to the 2013 World Bank report World Development IndicatorsIndia stands at 56 (per 1000 live births) in infant mortality rate (IMR) world ranking. Even low-income countries like Nepal, Bangladesh, Peru and the Philippines have a lower IMR, and is comparatively better than India achieving a higher reduction rate. Similarly, maternal mortality rate (MMR) in India (190 per 100,000 live births) continues to be alarmingly high compared with countries like China (32) and Brazil (69). The World Bank statistics also show that public health expenditure in India has remained unchanged since the 1990s (Fig 1).


According to the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation, Government of India, 2009, the rate of decline is 6 percentage points annually since 2000; India is unlikely to achieve the MDG target of MMR 109 per 100,000 by 2015.

India’s challenge lies not only in meeting the high levels of health status as that of other developed countr

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    Minakshi Chakraborty

    Wide regional inequalities exist in the health status of the country. A study of measures like infant mortality rate, maternal mortality rate, safe delivery and immunisation shows that economic development along with a higher governmental expenditure on health can lead to improvement in the health status.

    The author is Senior Economist, Indicus

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