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Shortage of doctors, Covid-19 hospitals in Nagaland

By Our Correspondent Updated: Jun 07, 2020 10:31 pm
A doctor walks past the entrance to a Covid-19 hospital in Kohima. (EM Images)

Our Correspondent
Kohima, June 7 (EMN):
Nagaland government on Sunday admitted that there is a shortage of doctors, researchers and Covid-19 hospitals in the state.

The minister for Planning and Co-ordination, Land Revenue and Parliamentary Affairs, Neiba Kronu, said this at a press briefing in Kohima.

On June 1, the state Cabinet decided to recruit more doctors, but the file has been delayed, he said.

According to Kronu, there was some “problem” with the department of Personnel and Administrative Reforms (P&AR). Therefore, the chief minister had directed the Finance department and P&AR department to immediately look into matter, he said.

The minister further informed that the Cabinet, on June 6, directed the Health and Family Welfare department to immediately appoint doctors and nurses with the approval of the chief minister and the chief secretary.

Dr. Kikameren Longkumer, Deputy Director for Health and Family Welfare, informed that the sanctioned post (government doctors), as of June 7, were 425 (in-service) — starting from principal director to Nagaland medical council members.

They include 33 dental surgeons, he said.

In the 11 district hospitals, the non-specialists’ strength stands at 52% of the Indian Public Health Standards (IPHS), while the specialists’ strength is 23% and with that strength, “we are manning the district hospitals”, the officer said.

He added that the proposal, which the government has agreed to, is to enhance the specialists’ strength in the district hospitals to 50% of IPHS. The staff nurses stands at 28% of IPHS and this will also be increased to 75%, he said.

It is first targeting the district hospitals, and in phase-wise, it will go down to sub-district centres, he added.

Mmhonlumo Kikon, Advisor for IT, Science and Technology and NRE, said that depending on new appointments, the doctors would be rationed among the district hospitals.

When asked why not make use of government employees to assist the medical staff in registering and screening process, he said that similar suggestions have been received previously and an assessment has been made accordingly. He added that doctors and medical team have their own rooster and SOPs, such as, quarantine for 14 days period after certain period of duty.

When fresh appointments of medical staff are made, it will make sure that they are posted and sent to quarantine centres to ease their burden, he said.

Kikon also informed that 70% of returnees are being shouldered by Dimapur with around 5000, followed by Mon, around 1400.

Further, he added that screening could be done by non-doctors as well.

Home Commissioner Abhijit Sinha said that protocol for all returnees is the same and there are no separate protocols for people coming from outside the country. All coming from affected countries and areas have to mandatorily undergo 14 days institutional quarantine.

By Our Correspondent Updated: Jun 07, 2020 10:31:06 pm