No basic healthcare


Very often, we make the state-run health sector accountable and raise fingers on its infrastructure, working, and management. Being the most critical segment for survival and a better life, health facility of the state has to be accessed critically. However, beyond state government’s role in managing the facility smoothly in the best interest of the public, people too have an essential responsibility in handling the facility and taking best out of it. The people’s oriented schemes and amenities cannot be run without public support. The administration and peoples role has to be symbiotic for smooth functioning and sustenance of such projects. When we claim to be in a democracy – the government of the people, by the people, and for the people’, then public has to be supportive, caring and treat every asset of the state with care and sense of possession. But unfortunately, we are far from being decent and considerate citizens. In fact, public support and cooperation in health care is at its lowest. Yes, we may lack some mannerism to manage the public property but the way we treat the primary facility, like hygiene and lavatories uncouthly, we are destined to be condemned as worthless creatures. A visit to the washroom in any habitation reveals the mindset of society. In hospitals, both government and private, public support and care are clearly lacking. During the day at least there is a semblance of decorum, but with sunset the whole hospital turns into a slum with public intrusion and behaviour. A fleet of entourages (attendants) accompanying the suffering patients with their bag and baggage make a beeline into the wards and corridors and turn the whole efforts of the administration and workers, particularly the housekeeping staff, into a filthy mess. Chaos and confusion are running the entire hospital until the sunrise. The health department, in addition to plugging the infrastructural loopholes and tightening its administration, should come heavily on the bad-mannered public and make them understand their responsibilities. Here it is obvious that the overall healthcare system of the state is running with the efforts of its managers and blessings of the Almighty. Otherwise, most of our healthcare infrastructure does not qualify to even the national standards. Most hospitals are virtually in shambles. They have turned into massive bank of causal-organisms that instead of treating its visitors make them sick with hospital-acquired infections and diseases. Under the present situation of the enormous growth in healthcare infrastructure in the state, a holistic review becomes necessary for its professional and scientific expansion and management.
At the same time, the government should also take the healthcare concerns of its citizens seriously. The questions is should basic health care facilities be just for name sake? Is it not only to be addressed to the Government authorities but to those who under the oath of Hippocrates are unwilling to serve in rural areas? Who has to take care of those living in villages and far flung areas? Even to those, who are sitting in decision making bodies and in planning and administrative sections of the system, this question needs to be asked. Why should the manpower crisis not be tackled? Why should the Government not make it obligatory for each doctor to serve for at least three years in a rural area followed by two in a semi urban area? Government run health centres are desperately pitching for improving their health of management. We regularly come across reports of poor infrastructures of primary health centres in villages, or absence or non-posting of doctors, or even nurses, but the authorities concerned continues to remain oblivious to the people’s plight. Clearly unless healthcare concerns of our people living in rural and far flung areas are addressed, all claims, mostly tall ones, made by the government are nothing short of gimmicks. Figures of the Health Index 2019 released by NITI Aayog late last month are only negating all high claims of the state government in performing better on healthcare front and being seriously concerned about improving upon them from time to time. The Health Index 2019 had showed Nagaland as worst performing states among smaller states. The need of the hour is to take a holistic view of the entire problem, find out the areas needing immediate resolution and progressively bring the system on rails as we do not expect overnight miracles from the government looking to its ‘traditional working culture’.