Thursday, April 15, 2021

Unregulated sector

Followed by murkier but thriving education trade, selling dreams of health are the most lucrative enterprises in the State. A novel nexus between exploiters, politicians and few devious elements within the administration has allowed these murky trades to flourish unabatedly. Healthcare is the most vital aspect of our survival and requires utmost attention and perfection with highest degree of honesty and sincerity. While on one hand, state run healthcare organization is in mess, the private healthcare system is out for a kill to mint money out of the desperation and sufferings of the common people. Here most of the health centres in far flung regions either have less doctors or no doctor at all. Most of the young doctors after getting into government services, either seek study leave for pursuing further studies or they get themselves attached at some roadside hospital, preferably somewhere in Dimapur or Kohima District. In most primary health centres in far flung places and even in some district hospitals, there are no doctors or not enough as per vacancy available, whereas in Dimapur or Kohima districts there are surplus doctors attached at the behest of influential persons. Doctors get appointed to serve anywhere, but when comes to service, they usually prefer to be posted in these two districts. The condition of government hospitals can be seen from the aspect that whenever some influential person gets sick, he/she prefers to be admitted in some private hospital, rather than some routine government hospital. On the other hand, the lack of monitoring and proper legal control over private health sector has turned private health entrepreneurs’ into rogues. Even after possessing huge infrastructure and qualified manpower, our state run health sector is in confusion since long; unable to provide proper healthcare service. Crores are spent for maintaining the sterile atmosphere within our hospitals, but almost every healthcare center is a potential pathogenic bomb, about to explode any time. Hospital acquired infections within our hospitals, particularly in post-operative stages are very common; in many cases leading to septicemia and ultimately excruciating death. In the first instance the surroundings and ambiance outside our hospitals is horrible, looking like gateways to a nightmarish departure. From rude response and treatment to disgraceful discharge the experience is painful. At every stage only favored few are catered with love and care and rest all are condemned to agonizing misery. Our temples of wellbeing have turned into slaughter houses. Certainly, the private healthcare sector is growing on modern scientific lines but their unfair trade practices and exorbitant price packages are disappointing. This sector, yet being in its nascent stage, can be streamlined by proper regulation, restraining and weeding out unscrupulous exploitative elements. Unless, a separate suitable regulatory authority is constituted to monitor this growing sector, it will grow in a haphazard manner. Presently there is no regulation of rates, capacity and required infrastructure and qualified manpower. Monitoring of pollution status, sanitation and other ecological aspects within private health enterprises is almost zero. A cursory look within and outside these units provides a pathetic look; giving a damn to most vital aspect of healthcare – the pathogen factor. Several, virtual healthcare quackeries run out of shanties by unqualified persons either in connivance with the monitoring authorities or by exploiting loopholes within the existing regulatory rules. Some might manage a safe refuge within the existing private healthcare system, obviously, by parting with more than two months or more of legitimate earnings, but what will be the fate of a poor soul who is unable to make his two ends meal, leave alone the luxury of seeking curative help from private sector? There is also the issue of spurious drug scenario in the State, which authorities should take note of. In fact the drug control department has failed miserably in curbing the menace of spurious drugs and growing drug abuse. Mushrooming drug stores at every nook and corner of the state run by unqualified personal is presently the only achievement of the drug control agency. For a vigorous and flourishing society government should keep this vital sector above politics and infuse sense of accountability and fresh blood of quality administration with attributes of merit, devoid of any preferential treatment.