Sunday, July 21, 2024

Health minister admits to severe doctor shortage


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From Our Correspondent

MAWKYRWAT, June 26: Health Minister Dr Mazel Ampareen Lyngdoh has acknowledged the severe shortage of doctors in Meghalaya, stating that the MDA government is actively seeking solutions to this critical issue.
“Every Primary Health Centre (PHC) currently has only one MBBS doctor, one Ayush doctor, and the supporting staff. This is not the failure of any past or future governments. We simply do not have enough doctors. Many who complete their MBBS are unwilling to return home, with only a few exceptions,” Lyngdoh said.
The Health minister highlighted potential reasons for the shortage, including inadequate pay packages and the limited number of students being sent for medical studies. “With the National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test (NEET), even if the government wants to send more students to medical institutes, they must pass NEET. What can we do if they don’t?” she remarked.
Lyngdoh made these statements while speaking to the media at Mawthawpdah village, 17 kilometers from Mawkyrwat, after inspecting two health centres in the Shiliang Um Rilang area of South West Khasi Hills District: the Sngimawlein Sub-Centre and Mawthawpdah PHC. “We are fortunate to have Ayush and Homeo doctors who provide excellent services. If the MBBS doctor at Mawthawpdah PHC has an emergency, the Ayush doctor can assist because they also have the authority to give medication. The government is addressing the doctor shortage, but we need cooperation from all stakeholders,” Lyngdoh emphasised.
The minister also expressed concern that, despite the proximity of Sub-centres and PHCs, many pregnant women still choose to deliver at home, children are not receiving immunisations, and numerous people die suddenly due to neglecting regular health check-ups for conditions like blood pressure and diabetes. She urged the public to utilise the available health services.
On a positive note, Lyngdoh announced that the Mawkyrwat Civil Hospital is now fully functional and equipped with X-ray machines and other necessary equipment to provide top-notch services to the community.
Lyngdoh promised to revisit the Mawthawpdah PHC and Sngimawlein Sub-Centre in one or two months to assess improvements.


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