NITI Aayog recently released the second edition of its State Health Index and revealed that Kerala remains the healthiest State in India while Uttar Pradesh remains the most unhealthy.
The ranking was done under three categories- larger states, smaller states, and union Territories-to ensure comparison among similar entities. Madhya Pradesh, Odisha, Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh, and Bihar have shown no improvement in health status.
“In Bihar, the deterioration between, Base Year of 2015-16 and Reference the Year of 2017-18 was primarily due to the performance related to total fertility rate, low birth weight, Sex Ratio at Birth, Tuberculosis treatment success rate, quality accreditation of public health facilities, and time-taken for National Health Mission fund transfer,” said the report.
The index analyses overall performance and incremental improvement in the States and the Union Territories for the period with 2015-16 as the base year and 2017-18 as the reference year.
“Uttarakhand’s Health Index score decreased mainly because of deterioration in the neonatal mortality rate, Under-five mortality rate, the stability of tenure of key administrative positions at the district level, the functionality of First Referral Units (FRUs), and NHM fund transfer,” the report said.
Only 56 percent of mothers deliver babies in health facilities in Bihar, which is worse than the national average. Also, Bihar is in red because more low birth weight babies are being born as compared to 2015-16.
NITI Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant also lauded among the larger States, Haryana, Rajasthan, and Jharkhand that were the top three in terms of incremental performance.
The report has also compared health outcomes of Kerala to that of Argentina or Brazil, with neonatal mortality rate (NMR) which is the probability of a baby dying in first 28 days of birth, being as low as six per 1,000 live births. NMR in Odisha which stands at as high as 32 per 1,000 live births is close to that of Sierra Leone, states the report.
“It is imperative that the States spare at least eight percent of their budget for health,” said VK Paul, Member (Health), NITI Aayog.