India has 9th least health freedom in the world: Study

This parameter basically compares the age restrictions for buying tobacco in different countries. In India, the legal age for purchasing tobacco is 21 years.

By Nimisha S Pradeep  Published on  15 Oct 2022 10:22 AM GMT
India has 9th least health freedom in the world: Study

Hyderabad: India has the ninth least health freedoms in the world with a health freedom score of 4.38, revealed a study by William Russell, an international medical insurance partner. The study aimed to look at how health laws vary from country to country to reveal in which countries people enjoyed absolute freedom to look after their health in the way they choose.

The study was conducted across 50 countries comparing seven parameters, including tobacco restrictions, alcohol restrictions, laws around recreational and medical cannabis, abortion laws, access to universal healthcare, laws around euthanasia, and paid maternity leave.

Tobacco restrictions

This parameter basically compares the age restrictions for buying tobacco in different countries. In India, the legal age for purchasing tobacco is 21 years. Switzerland is the only country where the legal age is 18 years. Out of the 50 countries, six countries have a legal age of more than 18 years.

Alcohol restrictions

This is the legal age that permits an individual to buy alcohol in a given country. In India, the legal age is 21 years. Six of the western European countries have permissible legal age of 18 years.

Recreational/Medicinal cannabis

Recreational cannabis or marijuana is banned in most countries. Canada, Mexico, and South Africa are the only three countries that have legalised the use of cannabis for recreational purposes. In 13 countries, including India, the use of medicinal cannabis is also illegal. Out of 50 countries surveyed, 30 countries have legalised the use of medicinal marijuana.

Abortion

Cyprus is the only country that has outright banned abortion. Most of the countries in the study did not have any legal restrictions on abortion but in some countries due to various socio-economic concerns, some restrictions do exist.

Universal healthcare

Universal healthcare gives citizens and residents of a country access to publicly-funded healthcare. In India, there is access to universal health care. In nine countries in eastern Europe, there is no universal healthcare.

Euthanasia

Euthanasia refers to the intentional ending of a person's life to relieve their pain and suffering. In India, it is legal. It is illegal in Indonesia, Japan, and the Philippines.

Paid maternity leave

In India, a woman gets 26 weeks of maternity leave. Estonia gives the highest number of maternity leaves, 62 weeks. Bulgaria and Croatia give 58 weeks of paid leave. Interestingly, among the 50 countries, the USA has the world's least health freedom with a score of 2.88, followed by Indonesia with a score of 3, and the Philippines with a score of 3.35.

On the other hand, Switzerland has the greatest health freedom with a health freedom score of 8.34, followed by Luxembourg with a score of 7.83, and Canada with a score of 7.60.

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