NITI Aayog report: Kerala tops health rankings; Bihar, UP worst performers

As per news reports, the health index developed by NITI Aayog, with technical assistance from the World Bank, in consultation with the ministry of health and family welfare has claimed Kerala as the top spot among larger states for overall performance on health rankings followed by Andhra Pradesh and Maharashtra, while Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, and Odisha were at the bottom spot.

The report focuses on measuring and highlighting the overall performance and incremental improvement over a two-year period (2016-17 and 2017-18) in the states and the Union territories (UTs), which are categorised as larger states, smaller states and UTs, to ensure comparison among similar entities. The reports have indicated that Haryana, Rajasthan and Jharkhand showed the maximum improvement of health outcomes.

Vinod Kumar Paul, member, NITI Aayog said, “the country will need to spend at least 2.5% of its gross domestic product on health. The state governments should also scale up their health spends from an average of 4.7% to 8% of their budget,” he added.

Meanwhile, the report highlighted a decline in the overall health index score of the states of Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Madhya Pradesh, and Odisha because of deterioration in various parameters.

The report quoted, “In Bihar, the deterioration between the base year and the reference year was primarily because of the performance related to total fertility rate, low birth weight, sex ratio at birth, tuberculosis (TB) treatment success rate, quality accreditation of public health facilities, and the time taken for NHM (National Health Mission) fund transfer.”

On the other side, the smaller states, Mizoram ranked first in overall performance, while Tripura and Manipur were the top two states in terms of incremental performance. While, Sikkim and Arunachal Pradesh had the biggest decrease in overall health index scores. Meanwhile, among the union territories, Chandigarh ranked first in overall performance, while Dadra and Nagar Haveli improved the most.

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