Expressing concern over the bad health indicators of Meghalaya, Chief Minister Conrad Sangma on Monday called for joint effort to improve the overall efficiency of service delivery in the health sector, especially in the rural areas.
“Health is an important sector and Meghalaya allocates 7 percent to the sector which is higher than the national average. But state’s health indicators is bad be it IMR or MMR in Meghalaya is very much on the higher side and we need to bring it down,” Sangma said addressing the 3rd North East Health Care Leadership Summit 2018 organized by the Public Health Foundation of India (PHFI).
The Chief Minister said that the government is taking new initiatives to address deficiencies in health sector such as non-availability of doctors in Community Health Centres and Public Health Centres.
“There are many areas that the government needs to work on to improve our health care system. We need to increase the budget on the health sector. This year, we have increased it by 30 percent but it is not the amount that we give but how we utilised the money to improve our health infrastructure,” Sangma said.
Lamenting that Meghalaya is yet to have a medical collage of its own, the Chief Minister, however, said that the government is working hard to have the medical college of its own in order to meet the professional manpower in the health sector.
Sangma stressed on the importance of realizing and recognizing the fact that while we talk about challenges and gaps, that we should realise the potential of the available resources and maximize its usage which is equally important for efficiency and effective delivery of health services.
Terming the development of infrastructure and upgradate of human resource as the key element in ensuring better service delivery, the Chief Minister expressed optimism that the government would be able to initiate work on the two medical colleges as soon as possible.
“On a regular basis we have been monitoring the implementation of the scheme through video conferencing with set goals and agenda. This has ensured that administration and other line departments are constantly engaged with the government to ensure efficient delivery of services to the people,” he said.
Sangma said that the government was contemplating to provide basic soft skill and technical training to Asha workers and nurses to ease the burden on doctors.
During the Summit, Chief Minister also handed over achievement awards and citation to outstanding individuals for their contribution to National Health Mission , Meghalaya government Dr. Kalpana Choudhury, Gynecologist for her expert service in PMSMA where pregnant mothers get specialised care on the 9th of every month.
Health and Family Welfare Minister Alexander Hek, Chief Secretary Yeshi Tsering, Chief Secretary, PHFI Vice President, Jayanto Narayan Choudhury, Former Health Secretary, Royal Govt. of. Bhutan, Dr. Sangey Thinley, Former Health Secretary, Royal Govt. of. Bhutan along with a host of senior government health officials from all the north eastern states of India attended the summit.