Published: Sat, February 10, 2018
World | By Paul Elliott

Kerala top performer on health index released by Niti Aayog

Kerala top performer on health index released by Niti Aayog

In the report, rankings have been done in three categories -- larger states, smaller states and union territories.

Kerala topped the list of larger states on overall health performance in "performance in health outcome index" released by Niti Aayog on Friday.

Besides Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Bihar and Odisha are among the states that performed poorly in the health index.

The report was released by Niti Aayog chief executive officer Amitabh Kant, health secretary Preeti Sudan and World Bank's India director Junaid Ahmad.

The report is an indicator that despite tall claims by the government of Arunachal Pradesh of giving utmost importance to the health sector, the situation remains precarious.

In the NITI Aayog report, the states and Union Territories (UFs) have been ranked in three categories namely, larger states, smaller states, and UTs, to ensure comparison among similar entities. He said, among smaller states Mizoram ranked first followed by Manipur and Goa in terms of annual incremental performance. The worst performer among the 21 large states was UP, though it was among the top three in annual incremental performance. The reference years for most indicators is 2015 or 2016 and the base years to gauge improvement are between one and three years before the reference year.

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

Kerala top performer on health index released by Niti Aayog
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The Health Index report notes that while States and UTs that start at lower levels of development are generally at an advantage in notching up incremental progress over States with high Health Index scores, it is a challenge for States with high Index scores to even maintain their performance levels. It also pointed to the delay of fund transfer from state treasury to implementation agencies.

It was a leader with respect to proportion of low birth weight among newborns, total fertility rate, U5MR, NMR, sex ratio at birth and institutional deliveries.

State health and family welfare minister Pratap Jena, however, said he was unaware of the report and also that he did not know what parameters were taken into account while ranking the states. This Index is expected to nudge States towards further achieving a rapid transformation of their health systems and population health outcomes.

With a health index of 76.55 in the reference year (2015-16), Kerala ranks first.

Among Union Territories or UTs, Lakshadweep showed both the best overall performance as well as the highest annual incremental performance.

The state is also credited with having cardiac care units in 50 per cent or more districts.

The silver lining for the state in the report is that the state has done well in terms of key inputs or processes.

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