Kerala Healthiest, Uttar Pradesh And Bihar Are The Worst Performers On NITI Aayog's Health Card
Kerala again tops the list for the second time in a row in terms of overall health performance according to Niti Aayog’s health index report. Andhra Pradesh holds the second position whereas Maharashtra occupies the third spot. The health index released on June 25 based on 23 health indicators mentioned that Bihar, Odisha, and Uttar Pradesh performed the worst. The government think tank lauded Rajasthan, Jharkhand, and Haryana to be on top in terms of incremental performance. Last time, the surveyed was done in the 2016-17 period.
The health index prepared by NITI Ayog in collaboration with the health ministry and assisted by the World Bank found significant disparities among the states and Union Territories. The health index is classified into three categories – larger states, smaller states, and Union territories to advocate fair comparison.
Under the small states category, Mizoram snatched the first spot in overall performance, whereas the state of Tripura and Manipur were the top two states in terms of incremental performance. Arunachal Pradesh and Sikkim saw a significant drop in the overall health index scores. In terms of Union Territories, Chandigarh topped the list.
Of the top ten performing states, Jammu & Kashmir, Maharashtra, Himachal Pradesh, Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, and Karnataka saw an overall rise in the health index.
The top six worst performers – Odisha, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, and Bihar- showed a steady downfall in overall performance scores except for Rajasthan.
The eight socio-economically backward states referred to as the Empowered Action Group (EAG) states performed abysmally except – Rajasthan, Jharkhand, and Chhattisgarh. These three states exhibited an overall improvement during the calculation period. The other EAG states are Bihar, Uttarakhand, Madhya Pradesh, Odisha, and Uttar Pradesh.
Stressing on the condition of the EAG states, the report said that while the performance of the EAG states was not impressive, improvement in some EAG states should provide an example to other EAG states as they should figure out effective actions to improve their overall performance scores. For instance, the report suggested that the Bihar’s poor performance is due to the total fertility rate, sex ratio at birth, low birth weight and drop in tuberculosis treatment success rate. The report also stated that Uttarakhand’s health index is low due to deterioration in neonatal mortality rate, under-five mortality rate, and time taken for National Health Mission fund transfer. In case of Uttar Pradesh, the report identified drop in TB treatment success rate, low birth weight, the average tenure of key positions at the state and district level, and birth registration level to be the reason behind the poor health index performance.
Amitabh Kant, CEO of NITI Aayog in the press conference said that health index ranking will impact on the budget a state will receive from the centre. He further highlighted that a minimum of 8% of the budget, a state should use for the health sector.