Facilitating healthcare delivery in Nagaland

Dr Asangba Tzudir 

The Covid-19 pandemic came as a litmus test for the healthcare system in Nagaland and it exposed the inadequacy and lack of healthcare infrastructures, technical facilities and medical and health care professionals. However, the pandemic also led to the revamping of the Hospitals and infrastructure in Nagaland.

Now, Nagaland has the first medical college with its first batch of 100 students, and the fact that the State Government is taking further steps with the central government for its expansion and upgradation and conversion into a central institute. The ongoing construction work for the second medical college in Nagaland at Mon and which the “government is taking all necessary steps for early completion” will really bolster the health sector in Nagaland. The upgradation of the school of Nursing in NHAK Kohima to College of Nursing is a step in the right direction. Added to this is North East Regional Multi-Disciplinary Paramedical Institute (NERMPI) at CIHSR which is indeed a huge milestone and which is hoped to really bridge the gap of healthcare resources and also facilitate development. 

The immediate challenge will be the need for more healthcare professionals and trained paramedics. This is the kind of issue that is very easily identified as missing or lacking and in desperate need, but a very difficult proposition that takes time to fill up the gaps. All these and more takes us to the larger issue of health care delivery, an area that has remained a cause of concern especially in the wake of health emergency situations.

Talking about the healthcare system in the state, there is need for better coverage in all the districts especially the villages so that facilities are there to deal with emergency situations, and that quality care is provided to the needy. Healthcare is also not simply about hospitals, infrastructure, doctors and nurses but calls for inclusive leadership through the involvement of stakeholders towards ensuring better healthcare delivery. While quality healthcare is very much a part of institutional policies, there is need for bridging the gaps in the context of the precious ‘space’ and ‘time’ and the limited resources. Even the best hospitals with the most advanced infrastructure and equipments will fail in its health care delivery if the aspect of healthcare is not addressed. 

While managing the available resources is an integral aspect of healthcare delivery, and because of the way in which healthcare delivery presents newer challenges, a lot of practical considerations crops up while dealing with emergency situations. Citing an instance, the frailty of human nature and the various forms negligence on the part of the healthcare personnel’s is bound to happen at various points of time because of the routine nature of the work. However, at stake is life, and it is the ‘golden moment’ that comes at a threshold between life and death. Timely intervention is one of the most foundational aspects that needs to be greatly addressed, because, it is just a matter of human negligence or the frailty of humans that costs life. And in many cases the death of the patient is generally attributed to ‘bad luck.’ 

Beyond the infrastructure and the healthcare facilities, the aspect of healthcare delivery is in need of professional dedication. However, there are also healthcare delivery etiquettes and decorum which the general public also should be mindful about.

(Dr Asangba Tzudir contributes a weekly guest editorial to The Morung Express. Comments can be emailed to asangtz@gmail.com)