JK second fastest improving state on health: NITI Aayog
New Delhi, Feb 09: Jharkhand, Jammu and Kashmir, and Uttar Pradesh have emerged as the top-three large states in the country in terms of annual incremental performance on health indicators, the NITI Aayog said. According to the NITI Aayog’s Health Index rankings announced on Friday, Kerala, Punjab, and Tamil Nadu ranked on top in terms of overall performance among larger states. “Jharkhand, Jammu and Kashmir, and Uttar Pradesh showed the maximum gains in improvement of health outcomes from base to reference year in indicators such as neonatal mortality rate, under-five mortality rate, full immunization coverage, institutional deliveries, and People Living with HIV (PLHIV) on anti-retroviral therapy,” the “Healthy States, Progressive India” report said. However, it noted that while states 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. Among smaller states, Mizoram ranked first followed by Manipur on overall performance. In terms of annual incremental performance, Manipur came out on top followed by Goa. Among the union territories, Lakshadweep showed both the best overall performance, as well as the highest annual incremental performance. The NITI Aayog said the index would be linked to incentives under the National Health Mission, which underlines the importance of such an exercise. While releasing the report, NITI Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant said it would serve as a tool to leverage co-operative and competitive federalism to accelerate the pace of achieving health outcomes. It would also serve as an instrument for “nudging” states and union territories to put much greater focus on output and outcome-based measurement of annual performance, he said. The ranking has been done in three categories namely larger states, smaller states, and union territories to ensure comparison among similar entities. The NITI Aayog said it is a weighted composite index based on indicators in three domains: health outcomes (70 per cent weightage), governance and information (12 per cent), and key inputs and processes (18 per cent). According to the report, the incremental measurement reveals that about one-third of the states have registered a decline in their performance in 2016 as compared to 2015, stressing the need to pursue domain-specific, targeted interventions.