Kerala tops health index, Uttar Pradesh worst performer


New Delhi: Kerala continues to top the health index among large states in terms of overall health performance while Uttar Pradesh stays at the bottom, though it has shown improvement.

The index, part of a report titled Healthy States, Progressive India released by the NITI Aayog on Friday, ranks states and Union territories on their year-on-year incremental change in health outcomes and their overall performance.

According to the report, “in the reference year (2015-16), among the larger states, the index scope for overall performances ranged widely between 33.69 in Uttar Pradesh to 76.55 in Kerala”.

Kerala was followed by Punjab, Tamil Nadu and Gujarat. Rajasthan, Bihar and Odisha were among those that performed poorly on the index.

In terms of annual incremental performance, Jharkhand, Jammu & Kashmir and Uttar Pradesh are the top three states. These three states showed the maximum gains in indicators such as Neonatal Mortality Rate (NMR), Under-five Mortality Rate (U5MR), full immunization coverage, and institutional deliveries.

Among smaller states, Mizoram ranked first followed by Manipur and Goa. Among Union territories, Lakshadweep showed both the best overall performance and the highest annual incremental performance.

Releasing the report, NITI Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant said the government think tank believes that the health index will act as a tool to leverage cooperative and competitive federalism, accelerating the pace of achieving health outcomes.

“By June this year, we will take out the ranking of 730 district hospitals based on their performance. We want to encourage the good performers and name and shame those who don’t,” he added.

NITI Aayog member Vinod Kumar Paul said that absolute and incremental changes in health outcomes, as measured by the index, promote cross-learning between states, capturing the very spirit of cooperative and competitive federalism.

Health and family welfare secretary Preeti Sudan said her ministry will soon announce the linked incentives for states that have performed better on the health index.

World Bank country director Junaid Ahmad said that India is the only large country which has carried out this kind of exercise and the index developed by NITI Aayog and World Bank has global implications.

According to a NITI Aayog statement, the ranking was done under three categories—larger states, smaller states and Union territories to ensure comparison among similar entities. The three indicators which were factored in while ranking the states were health outcomes (70%), governance and information (12%) and key inputs and processes (18%), with each domain assigned a weight based on its importance.

The statement said that there was a large gap in overall performance between the best and the least performing states and UTs.livemint