Who is the healthiest of them all? Kerala, says Niti Aayog


Released by NITI Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant, Ministry of Health Secretary Preeti Sudan and India country director of World Bank Junaid Ahmad, the report is the first step to establish an annual systematic tool to measure and understand the complexity of nation's performance in health.

Kerala has topped the Health Index report prepared by NITI Aayog while Uttar Pradesh appeared at the bottom among larger states, though it has shown improvement in the recent past.

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

The NITI Aayog CEO said, among Union territories Lakshadweep showed best overall performance as well as highest annual incremental performance.

In fact, Karnataka found a place among those six states that demonstrated a decline in their health performance in 2015-16 from the base year.

The report ranks states and Union territories innovatively on their year-on-year incremental change in health outcomes, as well as, their overall performance with respect to each other.

However, in terms of overall levels of performance, the Himalayan regions remained in the bottom two-third of the range of Index scores, with Kerala (76.55), Punjab (65.21) and Tamil Nadu (63.38), said the report.

As per the index, among smaller states, Manipur ranked first in terms of annual incremental performance and second in terms of overall performance. "We want to encourage the good performers and name and shame those who don't", he said.

The chief minister said the state is continuously working in the field of health, adding in the last three years the state government has taken several effective yojanas and implemented them, which bettered the health services.

The think tank said such an index would "promote cross-learning between states" and boost cooperative and competitive federalism.

According to a NITI Aayog statement, the ranking was done under three categories - larger states, smaller States and UTs 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.

"For example, Kerala ranks on top in terms of overall performance but sees the least incremental change as it had already achieved a low level of Neonatal Mortality Rate (NMR) and Under-five Mortality Rate (U5MR) and replacement level fertility, leaving limited space for any further improvements", the report said.