Itanagar: The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has issued a notice to Arunachal Pradesh chief secretary asking him to initiate measures to “improve the public health” situation in the state’s Kurung Kumey district.
The NHRC has also asked the chief secretary to initiate measures to submit a follow-up report regarding the same to the Commission within a period of 4 weeks.
According to a statement from the North East Human Rights Organization (NEHO) state affairs secretary Buteng Tayeng, a complaint was filed before the NHRC by NEHO on November 11 last year alleging that the people were facing an acute shortage of doctors, children and other specialists, etc in the Kurung Kumey district. The complaint further alleged that the people of the district were also suffering a lot due to the non-availability of medical equipment, etc.
It was further reported that the director of health services, Govt. of Arunachal Pradesh had placed many proposals for posting of doctors in Kurung Kumey, which had been approved and the order was also passed.
However, due to the concerned doctor’s representation for retention, the process had not achieved its intended action yet.
The complaint/report also revealed that seven of the primary and community health centres in Kurung Kumey had no doctors at all, despite one being sanctioned in each of them.
Also, there are only five doctors in place against the sanctioned amount of 23 sanctioned in 9 hospitals/PHC/CHCs. The district hospital sadly has only 4 doctors, as against 11 sanctioned posts.
The NHRC in its notice said it is among the primary duties of the state to improve public health as ‘right to health’ can be read into the fundamental right to life under article 21 of the Constitution.
“Evidently, the state needs to do much more to ensure that its people have access to basic health care,” the Commission said while directing the chief secretary to initiate measures to rectify the situation.
Meanwhile, the NEHO said that “the involvement and interference of political leaders in the transfer and posting of doctors for their personal political gain” is one of the major problems that Arunachal is facing at present.
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“It is important for government leaders to refrain from interfering in the transfer and posting of doctors and to ensure that any decisions made are based on the best interests of the patients and the state’s healthcare system,” the organization said while appealing to chief minister Pema Khandu to issue strict directives to put a stop such practices.
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