Monday, October 26, 2020

Unhealthy sector

The penetration of health mission programme to most remote corners of the state has been phe nomenal and relatively successful. Unfortunately, our efforts on the administration front have failed to make any headway. Presently we possess many specialty hospitals and other healthcare infrastructure with qualified and well trained human resource, but we desperately lack proper professional and scientific management. Particularly, our basic health sector even after possessing all modern facilities, infrastructure and manpower is unable to deliver and provide basic hygienic healthcare to common people. A cursory look into our healthcare units at block and district level provide a pathetic scene of suffering, mismanagement and exploitation. Many hospitals are either understaffed or lack manpower in several specific fields, thus making otherwise integrated system of treatment into a broken chain of shambles. Today major hospitals in the state have turned into breeding ground of infection, professional rivalry and exploitation. Almost every hospital stinks of foul smell and corruption and administration running at its lowest ebb. Here due to lack of proper administrative command and accountability, maximum cases of least complicated orthopedic, maternity and childcare are referred to the major hospitals in Dimapur or Kohima even after possessing every facility at district levels, creating a chaotic situation at these hospitals. Like any other sector, here only privileged and so called few elite are provided due care and quality treatment and rest are all pushed into trademark cattle class OPD (outpatients department). Private medical sector in the state is growing, but not in line with medical ethics and fair practice. During the last few decades, like education, our health sector has also come under unpleasant influence of commercialization making it most prominently vulnerable to greed, materialism and racketing. Mushrooming nursing homes, clinical laboratories and other allied health units without any quality control and regulations has exposed our health care system to all possible vagaries of exploitation and misconduct. Lack of proper monitoring and regulation of private health sector has created a vested group making money out of the suffering and desperation of our people. In absence of proper accountability private health players have gone haywire and are dictating their terms. How can we expect perfection and efficiency in healthcare in a state where eateries and hotels have changed into clinical laboratories, diagnostic centers and nursing homes? Quacks, like beasts, are on prowl and centers of quackery are minting money out of distressed and gullible patients in pain and agony. As if humanity has taken a back seat! No stone is left unturned to fleece the desperate until their last drop of blood and financial capability dries down. Indeed governments of all shade over the years have failed to curb the menace of corruption which accounts for half of the problem the state is facing because of decades of misrule and mis-governance at the hands of its leaders. Whether it was the Congress, NPF-led DAN alliance or the present NDPP-led PDA alliance, their track record is no different from each other. There is no doubt that state has all along received liberal funding from the central government but most of these funds were not used where it was meant to be. As a result a large section of population has remained alienated. It is, therefore, the main cause for the lack of development and has led to unrest for decades together. Had there been a genuine disposal of these funds, the state would have by now become prosperous and self-reliant. However a few who have benefited from it have made fortunes. Today it is apparent that there is a government within a government in every department and no one can question the functioning thereof. Every officer and a government employee is master of his own. As a result the government-people alienation is so wide than it was ever before. Unless the government is cleaned up and those tainted are laid off no one will believe or trust the government’s seriousness on eradicating corruption. May be it is inherent with every coalition governments everywhere that no individual initiatives are possible. But that does not mean that one should surrender before the vested interests within his own fold or from the camp of a coalition partner with whose support the government is in power.