Odisha 3rd from bottom in Niti Aayog’s health index

Bhubaneswar: Odisha is among the six least performing States of India when it comes to health, revealed NITI Aayog’s second edition of the Health Index, which was released today. As per the report, the State registered a decline in the overall performance scores and among 21 larger states, Odisha ranks 3rd from bottom just ahead of Uttar Pradesh and Bihar.

The decline in the overall Health Index score for five Empowered Action Group (EAG) States–Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Madhya Pradesh and Odisha between the Base Year (2015-16) and Reference Year (2017-18) is attributed to the deterioration of performance in several indicators.

Kerala has occupied the top slot in terms of health performance among large states followed by Andhra Pradesh and Maharashtra, according to the NITI Aayog’s report.

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

Gujarat, Punjab and Himachal Pradesh stood at fourth, fifth and sixth, according to the report, titled ‘Healthy States, Progressive India: Report on Rank of States and UTs’.

In terms of annual incremental performance among the larger states, Haryana, Rajasthan and Jharkhand are the top-three states.
The second round of the Health Index took into account the period 2015-16 (base year) to 2017-18 (reference year).

The index is a composite score incorporating 23 indicators covering key aspects of health sector performance with major weightage to the outcomes.
Among the smaller states, Mizoram ranked first in overall performance, 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.

Releasing the report, NITI Aayog Vice-Chairman Rajiv Kumar said the Aayog is committed to establish the Health Index as an annual systematic tool to propel states towards undertaking multi-pronged interventions to bring better health outcomes.

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,” Paul 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).

The first edition of the Health Index was released in February 2018, which measured the annual and incremental performances of states and UTs for period 2014-15 (base year) to 2015-16 (reference year).

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