India to lose $160 bn due to work-related ailments: Report


New Delhi : Work-related ailments like heart diseases, strokes and diabetes will likely cost India’s exchequer around $160 billion between 2009-15, an industry lobby study has said.

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The paper, jointly prepared by the Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (Assocham) and auditing major PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), said: “Due to tensions arising out of transitional liberalisation and current working environment in private and government sectors, the number of people with hypertension in India is expected to see a quantum leap of over 135 million.”

Though India is a fast-developing country, it is yet to create facilities to mitigate tension and high blood pressure from work-related stress, which often leads to cardiovascular diseases, said Assocham president Sajjan Jindal in the report.

According to the paper, the number of deaths from chronic diseases in India would exceed seven million by 2015.

The country’s national income is hard hit as it does not have adequate health centres even for routine check-ups. On the other side, most of the employers are under huge pressure at their work places and are working over-time to retain their jobs, Jindal said.

This breeds tension and hypertension that cause heart attacks, he added.

According to the report, to prevent chronic diseases, Indians should reduce tobacco intake, eat healthier diet and exercise regularly.

India is the world’s second largest consumer of tobacco.

According to government estimates, by 2020, chronic diseases would be the major reason for almost 66 percent of the deaths.

India’s total health care expense is less than 3 percent of its gross domestic product (GDP), lower than the world average of 9 percent, Assocham added.