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Health Minister dubs government doctors as ‘city-centric’

FROM A REPORTER

SHILLONG, June 17: Health and Family Welfare Minister, AL Hek on Friday came down heavily on some government doctors for their refusal to serve the people residing in the remote corners of the state and termed them as ‘city-centric doctors’, who fail to fulfill their duty to serve the people.

Addressing a gathering during the iuguration of the Mawlai Mawroh Public Health Centre (PHC) here at the premises of the PHC at Mawroh on Friday, Hek said that the state has faced the problem of shortage of government doctors, nurses and other medical staffs.

And amidst this problem there are some doctors who refuse to serve the people residing in the remote villages of the state, he said.

“If we transfer them (doctors) to places like Mawhati or Garo Hills, many of them refuse to take charge and resume their duty citing various reasons,” Hek said adding that this has affected the health care services in the state. Referring to a case at Mawhati PHC, Hek informed that as many as three doctors were transferred to this PHC to serve as the Medical Officers but all of them refused to take charge citing various problems.

“How can we improve the health care services in the rural areas and to cater to dire needs of the poor people it, if the doctors who are said to be chosen by God, are not ready to serve?” Hek questioned.

Suggesting a remedy to this problem, the health minister said that the government is contemplating of outsourcing the PHCs and CHCs in the state to private companies who can cater to the medical requirements of the state. “We are proposing to enter into the public-private partnership (PPP ) mode with an intention to bridge the gap in the health care services in the state,” he said adding that the government has already called for expression of interest wherein as many as six companies have come forward.

“Out of these, only one company—Karu Trust qualified for the said purpose as it fulfills all the clauses laid down by the government,” Hek said adding that the government will re-examine the issue to address the problem of shortage of medical staffs in government health care centres in the state.

 Meanwhile, Hek also urged all the stakeholders including the village heads, church leaders and medical practitioners to enlighten the people on the benefits of the Meghalaya Health Insurance scheme (MHIS) which was implemented by the state government. Later, the health minister also iugurated the Umrynjah sub centre which was constructed at a total cost of Rs 15 lakh at a plot of land doted by the Dorbar Shnong.