BHUBANESWAR: The Health Department on Monday questioned the Health Index report of NITI Aayog saying it does not portray a comprehensive picture of the sustained efforts made by the Government in the sector. “Healthy States, Progressive India,” the report of the national think tank had shown that Odisha had slipped in its ranking during the assessment period as major indicators had shown little improvement.
However, the Health Department said better health outcomes require sustained efforts over a long term whereas in the NITI Aayog Report, comparison has been made only between two years. This does not give a comprehensive view.
“The Composite Index has not considered key outcome indicators like Infant Mortality Rate (IMR) and Total Fertility Rate (TFR) where Odisha has made significant progress, consistently, over the past two decades,” the Health Department said.Questioning the report, the Department said, findings of NFHS-4 have not been taken into consideration for institutional delivery where status of Odisha for reference year 2015-16 has shown much better progress.
“The NFHS-4 report is more comprehensive with a larger sample size, with more proximity towards data accuracy,” an official rebuttal by the Department said. The Department said indicators like 24x7 PHC and Cardiac Intensive Care Units were included in the composite index of NITI Aayog though these are not a mandate across most States, including Odisha, where PHCs are not bedded facilities.
The State Government said it has made significant improvement in key processes indicators such as ante-natal care registration, functionalisation of FRUs, proportion of vacancies or specialists at district headquarter hospitals, zero vacancy in ANM and staff nurse and percentage of birth registration. Average occupancy of officers for improved governance has gone up too.
“Odisha is among a few states like Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Bihar and Delhi to have initiated accreditation of Public health facilities for providing high quality services as per National Quality Assurance Standards,” the Department said adding, treatment success rate in TB is among the best. Odisha’s score in composite index rose form 39.23 to 39.43 in the report.