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Government Declares Strong Data System to Address Lancet’s Allegations of Inaccuracy, Reports ET HealthWorld



Robust Data System, Says Govt To Counter Lancet’s Lack Of Accuracy Charge, ET HealthWorld

In a response to Lancet’s assertion regarding India’s data transparency on health indices, government officials have defended the country’s robust system of documenting births and deaths through the Registration of Births and Deaths Act, 1969. The officials stated that over 90% of births and deaths are registered online on state or national portals, ensuring accuracy and transparency in the process.

The Lancet, a renowned medical journal, published an editorial titled ‘India’s elections: Why data and transparency matter,’ raising concerns about the collection and publication of health data in India. The editorial questioned India’s reported COVID-19 death toll of 4.8 lakh, suggesting that WHO and other estimates indicate a significantly higher number of deaths. Additionally, it claimed a decline in government spending on health.

Contrary to Lancet’s claims, an official highlighted an increase in government health expenditure over time. According to the latest National Health Accounts Estimates, government health expenditure has risen from Rs 1,39,949 crore in 2014-15 to Rs 4,34,163 crore in 2021-22 (provisional data). The official also noted a reduction in out-of-pocket expenditure as a share of total health expenditure from 62.6% in 2014-15 to 39.4% in 2021-22.

The government’s response aims to reassure the public and international community of the accuracy and transparency of India’s health data collection and reporting mechanisms. The ongoing debate underscores the importance of reliable data in shaping effective health policies and strategies for the nation. Published on April 14, 2024, at 12:12 PM IST, this development sheds light on the critical need for data transparency in public health discourse.

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