Assam most improved among larger states in overall performance: Niti Aayog health index

GUWAHATI, Dec 28: Assam has made the maximum improvement among the larger states of the country in overall performance, the fourth edition of the State Health Index for 2019–20 released by NITI Aayog stated.

“Among the larger states, only four states improved their Base Year (2018-19) rank in the Reference Year (2019-20). The most significant progress was observed in Assam as it improved its ranking by three positions, from fifteenth to twelfth,” the report, titled “Healthy States, Progressive India”, stated.

Besides, Assam has been ranked second among the top three most improved states in incremental performance after Uttar Pradesh.

Assam’s total score has gone up from 43.39 in Base Year (2018-19) to 47.74 in Reference Year (2019-20). Kerala and Tamil Nadu occupy the first and second ranks in the overall performance scores of 82.20 and 72.42 respectively.

“Our efforts to transform Assam into a developed state have started bearing fruits. Proud to share that our state has been recognised as the Most Improved performer in @NITIAayog State Health Index, 2019–20. With people’s cooperation and hard work, we’ll surely set new milestones,” Assam chief minister Himanta Biswa Sarma, who was the health minister when the assessment was carried out, reacted on Twitter:

Among the smaller states, Mizoram has jumped up by two places to capture the top slot. Meghalaya too has jumped by two places from seventh to fifth while Tripura, Manipur and Arunachal Pradesh dropped their rank by one place each.

The State Health Index is an annual tool to assess the performance of states and UTs. It is a weighted composite index based on 24 indicators grouped under the domains of ‘Health Outcomes’, ‘Governance and Information’, and ‘Key Inputs/Processes’.

Each domain has been assigned weights based on its importance with higher scores for outcome indicators.

To ensure comparison among similar entities, the ranking is categorised as ‘Larger States’, ‘Smaller States’ and ‘Union Territories’.

Round IV of the report focuses on measuring and highlighting the overall performance and incremental improvement of states and UTs over the period 2018–19 to 2019–20.

“Our objective through this index is to not just look at the states’ historical performance but also their incremental performance. The index encourages healthy competition and cross-learning among States and UTs,” Niti Aayog’s CEO Amitabh Kant said.

The index has been compiled and published since 2017. The reports aim to nudge states/UTs towards building robust health systems and improving service delivery.

The report has been developed by NITI Aayog, with technical assistance from the World Bank, and in close consultation with the ministry of health and family welfare (MoHFW).

The importance of this annual tool is reemphasised by the Union ministry of health and family welfare’s decision to link the index to incentives under the National Health Mission. This has been instrumental in shifting the focus from budget spending and inputs to outputs and outcomes.

A robust and acceptable mechanism is used for measuring performance.

Data is collected online through a portal maintained by NITI on agreed indicators. The data is then validated through an independent validation agency selected through a transparent bidding process.

IANS

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