Kerala best state on health parameters, UP worst: NITI Aayog report

The second round of the health index accounts for the period 2015-16 (base year) to 2017-18 (reference year). (Representational Image)

Kerala has emerged as the top ranking state in the second health index launched by NITI Aayog, while Uttar Pradesh is the worst, reported PTI. The health index is a composite measure of States and Union Territories based on 23 health indicators with major weightage to the outcomes.

The second round of the health index accounts for the period 2015-16 (base year) to 2017-18 (reference year).

Andhra Pradesh and Maharashtra emerged as the second and third best in terms of overall health performance respectively, according to a report titled ‘Healthy States, Progressive India: Report on Rank of States and UTs’.

The ranking was done under three categories larger states, smaller states and Union territories (UTs) to ensure comparison among similar entities.

Among the larger states, Haryana, Rajasthan and The ranking was done under three categories – larger states, smaller states and Union territories (UTs) — to ensure comparison among similar entities. Jharkhand were the top three states in terms of incremental performances, according to the report. Among the worst performers, Bihar and Odisha occupied slots.

Among the smaller states, Mizoram while Tripura and Manipur were the top two states in terms of incremental performance. Sikkim and Arunchal Pradesh had the biggest decrease in overall Health Index scores.

Among the UTs, Chandigarh ranked first in overall performance, while Dadra and Nagar Haveli improved the most.

Meanwhile, releasing the report Niti Aayog Vice-Chairman Rajiv Kumar said the Aayog is committed to establishing the Health Index as an annual systematic tool to propel states towards undertaking multi-pronged interventions to bring better health outcomes, PTI reported.

Niti Aayog member Vinod Kumar Paul said the Union government should spend 2.5 per cent of gross domestic product on health. "And state governments should increase their spending on health from an average of 4.7 per cent to 8 per cent of their budget (net state domestic product) on health," PTI quoted Paul as saying.

As per the report, the decline in the overall Health Index score of five empowered action group states (Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Madhya Pradesh, Odisha) between the base year and the reference year is attributed to the deterioration of performances of several indicators.

"For instance, in Bihar, the deterioration between the base year and the reference year was primarily due to the performance related to total fertility rate, low birth weight, sex ratio at birth, TB (tuberculosis) treatment success rate, quality accreditation of public health facilities, time taken for NHM (National Health Mission) fund transfer," it said.

The report also pointed out that there was a general positive correlation between the Health Index scores and the economic development levels of states and UTs as measured by per-capita net state domestic product (NSDP).

Noting that overall, there is room for improvement in all states, even among the best, it said that "among the large states, the overall Health Index score of the best-performing state is more than two-and-a-half times of the overall score of the least-performing state".

The report said several states have made good progress towards achieving sustainable development goals included in the index.

Kerala and Tamil Nadu have already reached the 2030 SDG target for neonatal mortality rate (NMR), which is 12 neonatal deaths per 1,000 live births, it said.

The report has been prepared in collaboration with the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare with technical assistance from the World Bank.

Last year, in February the first round of the health index was released, which measured the annual and incremental performances of States and UTs for the period 2014-15(base year) to 2015-16 (reference year).

(With PTI inputs)