Assam is the most populous State from the North Eastern region of India comprises of nearly 70% population of the entire region of 7 States also known as Seven Sisters. The State, with over 3 crore population as per the Census 2011 data, has nearly 86% population residing in rural areas and only around 14% population in urban areas.
The State expenditure on public health in 2012-13 was a total of INR 1,539 crore out of which Rs 1353 crore were spent in medical and public health Rs 185 crore were spent in family welfare schemes. In its budget for 2016-17, Government allocated approximately INR 3,994 crore for health and family welfare schemes that includes several new initiatives targeted at improving the healthcare infrastructure in the State
According to National Family Health Survey IV, the health profile of Assam shows that about 29.8% children below the age of 5 years are underweight. Besides, 35.7% children between the age group of 6-59 months are anemic and about 25.7% women have body mass index (BMI) below normal. As per the National Sample Survey (NSSO) in 2014 it has been noted that Assam has the highest cost of hospitalization in Urban India. The average expense of hospitalization in urban areas of Assam is INR 47,064 despite the fact that over 51% population utilize public hospitals and 48.5% population uses private hospitals. Interestingly, in rural India, Assam is among the States that have lowest cost of hospitalization. The average cost of hospitalization is INR 6,966 in rural Assam where 89.2% uses public hospitals. This clearly indicates that the 50% dependency on private hospitals by urban population is adding to the healthcare bill extensively.
On other key health indicators as per NFHS-IV, Assam shows a critical State of affairs as per the public health. The infant mortality rate stands at 48 against the national average of 40. The situation is even worse in Under-Five mortality rate, which stands at 56. Though it has shown remarkable improvement from 84, registered in NFHS 3 of 2005-6. The maternal mortality rate in the State is highest in the country at 300 in 2011-13 as against national average of 167 out of per one lakh live births.
Select current health indicators for Assam:
Infant Mortality Rate (IMR) 48 (As per NFHS IV)
Under 5 mortality Rate (U5MR) 56 (As per NFHS IV)
Full Vaccination Coverage 47% (As per NFHS IV)
Children's Nutritional status (children age below 5 years who are underweight is 29.8%) – (As per NFHS IV)
Anemia among children (children age 6-59 months who are anemic 35.7%) -(As per NFHS IV)
Underweight women with BMI below normal 25.7% (As per NFHS IV)
Maternal Mortality Rate (MMR) 300 (as per SRS Bulletin 2011-13)
Life expectancy at birth 63.6 for men and 64.8 for women, national average stands at 67.3 and 69.6 respectively