Picture of health

News:  NITI Aayog has recently released its fourth Health Index report for the year 2019-20, which was published in collaboration with the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare. 

It ranked states on a weighted composite score based on 24 indicators, and offers a useful picture of the state of Indian health care. 

What are the components of this index? 

It is a very comprehensive index based on three broad domains —health outcomes, governance and information, 

For more: Read here

What are the findings of the report and what are the issues related to them? 

The comparison of states on the basis of the ranking can be misleading due to the categorisation of states. 

Example: It shows that UP has registered first ranking in incremental performance despite the fact that many smaller states have performed better than UP. 

UP’s performance is not because of any drastic changes in the health infrastructure improvement but due to the fact that UP started from a very low base. Hence, any improvement will show up in terms of a disproportionate bump in the incremental score. 

Proper analysis of the Index shows that nearly half of the states and Union Territories did not pass the halfway mark in the composite overall index score (the “frontier” in this case). Kerala, the top performer registered an overall index score of 82.2 only.  This suggests that there is considerable room for improvement even in India’s best state.  

It is important that this ranking is just not limited as a tool for competitive federalism and comparing states but can be used as a meaningful tool for health policy and resource allocation. 

Source: This post is based on the article “Picture of health” published in Business standard on 2nd Jan 2022. 

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