Among the larger States, Uttar Pradesh and Bihar ranked the lowest in NITI Aayog’s Health Index. However, on a positive note, these two States are among the ones that allocated the highest proportion of their budget towards healthcare in their FY24 budgets.

Orissa tops the list

businessline analysed the budget documents of large States. While Uttar Pradesh allocated 7.19 per cent of its budgeted expenditure towards healthcare, Bihar has set aside 7.01 per cent for the sector.

However, Odisha tops the list of States earmarking 7.54 per cent of its budgeted expenditure towards healthcare. The State ranks 14th, according to the NITI Aayog Index. Rajasthan’s allocation stood at 7.43 per cent. Madhya Pradesh fared poorly both in Niti Aayog’s Health Index, as well as allocation towards healthcare. The State ranked 17 among 19 States and allocated only 5.79 per cent of its budget towards healthcare.

To be sure, the NITI Aayog Index takes multiple aspects into consideration to rank States, including child mortality, multiple mortality, and health infrastructure.

Also read: Budget 2023-24: Health sector allocation up 13 per cent

In absolute numbers, Uttar Pradesh allocated the most money to health in FY24 at ₹47,404 crore followed by Maharashtra (₹25,015 crore), and Rajasthan (₹22,064 crore). However, Maharashtra’s healthcare allocation is less than 5 per cent of the State’s total budget expenditure.

At ₹5,595 crore, Punjab has the lowest allocation for healthcare in value terms. Not surprisingly, the State ranks the lowest in terms of allocation to healthcare with only 4.15 per cent towards the sector. The State only ranks eighth in NITI Aayog’s health index. Telangana has allocated just 4.46 per cent, but the State ranks the third best in the health index. 

According to the health index, the best-performing States are Kerala and Tamil Nadu, in that order. Kerala has allocated ₹9,935 crore towards health. This is 5.64 per cent of the State’s budget. Tamil Nadu allocated ₹12,378 crore, which is just a little more than 5 per cent of the State’s overall budget. The other best-performing States are Telangana (Rank 3), Andhra Pradesh (Rank 4), and Maharashtra (Rank 5).