TODAY -

Healthcare sector in hills on Govt radar
- The People's Chronicle Editorial :: January 21, 2023 -



OF the many developmental projects that chief minister N Biren announced during his visit to border village Jessami on Thursday, the declaration that the state government has decided to establish super specialty healthcare facilities/infrastructures in the four hill districts of Senapati, Ukhrul, Tamenglong and Chandel at the soonest possible would definitely bring huge relief to those settling in the hills.

Though the hill people are comparatively healthier that the general population in the plains due to their lifestyle and food habits, everybody is equally vulnerable to face health issues in this era of rampant food adulteration not to mention of the looming threat from natural disasters which could trigger health emergency anytime.

In fact, recent activation of the Churachandpur Medical College, on-going process for setting up a government-run cancer hospital and prompt administrative clearance given for establishment of private healthcare centres to mention a few, underscore that the government is keen to address shortages of both doctors and infrastructure as well as check the continuous draining of state's exchequer.

With official report estimating expenditure of over Rs 150 crore annually by people of Manipur for seeking medical treatment outside the state, existence of quality hospitals and professional service by the medical practitioners would not only help curb outflow of the medical bills, but would also reverse the trend and turn Manipur into a healthcare destination for many, including from the northeast region and adjoining international neighbours.

Moreover, skilled physicians, specialists and super-specialists doctors of Manipur working outside the state might return home to serve their own people.

As such, materialisation of the CM's announcement at the Jessami event is a win-win situation for all, especially the hill denizens, many of whom construe concentration of infrastructure development, including in healthcare sector, in the state's capital Imphal as testimony of successive governments lacking compassion towards mitigating hardships besetting them.

While logistics and security issues are some of the factors for the private parties to invest in infrastructure development projects in and around the capital, the dominant features in the outlying districts, especially the hilly regions and border districts like Jiribam, Kamjong and Tengnoupal, continue to be absence of basic amenities such as health, transport and education facilities.

While all these sectors are important for tapping both natural and human resources, underdevelopment in the healthcare sector has been one of the reasons for district level civil societies often questioning commitment of the government to acknowledge grievances of the denizens.

Thus, to dilute the step-motherly treatment narrative it is suggested that the incumbent government expedite all the processes to turn into reality the promise given for super specialty healthcare facilities in the four hill districts.

Mention may be made that outbreak of the Coronavirus pandemic spurred governments at the centre and in the states to develop public healthcare infrastructure on a war footing.

Fortunately, regardless of lakhs of lives lost to the contagion, the governments have realised the importance of having robust healthcare system and consequently according top priority in ensuring that every citizen has access to quality facilities and services.

Therefore, it is imperative that the state government make healthcare service accessible to all.



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