Acute Shortage Of Staff, Medicines, In Health Centres In Tseminyu, Kohima Districts - Eastern Mirror
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Nagaland

Acute shortage of staff, medicines, in health centres in Tseminyu, Kohima districts

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By Reyivolü Rhakho Updated: Mar 07, 2024 11:26 pm
health centres
Songkhupchung Serto along with his team members during the three-day visitation to the health care facilities in Kohima and Tseminyu district (EM image)

KOHIMA — Government-run healthcare facilities in Kohima and Tseminyu districts are grappling with acute shortages of staff, essential medicines, and infrastructure and inadequate access to water supply.

These issues came to light during the Nagaland State Human Rights Commission’s (NSHRC) visits to 12 government-run health centres including Community Health Centres, Primary Health Centres, Health and Wellness Centres, Integrated Ayush Hospital, and sub-centres, from March 5 to 7.

The NSHRC team was led by Chairperson, Justice Songkhupchung Serto, Member R Nzanbemo Lotha, Secretary Limanenla and representatives from the office of the Chief Medical Officer, Kohima.

The CHC Tseminyu Old Town, which is expected to be upgraded to a district hospital, is facing acute space constraints as the new building construction for the hospital was halted, reportedly due to non-release of funds. During the rush season, they are compelled to keep patients in the delivery room and minor operation theatre.

 ‘This is going to soon be a district hospital but manpower is short. There is no machinery, no laboratory equipment, and no buildings’, the medical officer of the CHC Tseminyu, Dr Tikeya Kez, said.

Currently, the centre has four doctors and eight nurses, 13 attendants and it caters to 50,000 populations and covers two PHCs and 12 sub-centres. It was also learnt that the hospital buys water from a private supplier to manage the hospital. 

In this connection, the NSHRC chairperson observed that the construction of the CHC at Tseminyu Old Town requires top priority since the existing building is far from adequate.

He also observed that the common problem faced by all the health centres barring Chunlikha PHC is lack of water.

Water is not only essential, but without it, the maintenance of the hospitals and health centres is difficult as the medical officers have to buy it from private suppliers, he said.

The Chunlikha PHC which covers around a dozen villages including Tseminyu district and Zunheboto also receives emergency patients often as it is close to the highway. The centre, which receives several awards and commendations for its quality service delivery and maintenance, is faced with basic medicine and staff shortages.

Commenting on the visit to the health facilities, the chairperson said that by and large the sub-centres, PHC and CHCs in Kohima district are okay, with one or two exceptions. However, manpower management and medicine supplies need to be improved.

He further underscored that timely supply of medicines, health care equipment and other requirements like bandages, hand gloves etc., have been expressed by the personnel working in the health centres.

It was learnt that the village council has contributed money to the centre to buy medicines whenever they don’t get funds to buy them.

While most of the health centres the team visited were without a single patient, the CHC Botsa had half a dozen in-patients as of Wednesday.

The centre reportedly receives around 800 patients per month during peak season and around 400 in an average month. They also receive several emergency patients at night, it was informed.

The NHM doctor at the centre also raised the issue of low pay and irregularity of payments.

Meanwhile, Serto also pointed out the power supply issue at CHC Botsa, which will require immediate intervention from the department, noting that delays may cause irreparable harm to the building since the wiring is in poor condition and the centre cannot utilise even an air conditioner due to the poor wiring and non-supply of power from the department.

“The power they get from the solar panels is insufficient for running the CHC,” he observed.

Noting that the issue of inadequate staff quarters were raised during the team visits, the chairperson said a hospital or health centre can be run successfully only if the doctors and nurses stay in and around the campus or at least within the town or village.

“But what we find is that most of these hospitals and health centres don’t have accommodation making it compulsory for them to travel from Kohima,” he noted.

 “If there are no patients (in-patients) in hospital/health centres at CHC level, it would be because either there are no patients or there are no doctors attending the patients. In the case of the CHCs that we visited, the latter seems to be the case. The government needs to do its part and the doctors and nurses should also be a little more dedicated in serving the people,” Serto observed.

He further maintained that every other concern of life can be taken care of if health is good but without good health, every other concern of life may even become meaningless.

The chairperson said the Commission would be engaging with officials of the Health and Family Welfare department so that these pressing issues can be resolved.

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By Reyivolü Rhakho Updated: Mar 07, 2024 11:26:19 pm
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