Shortage of human resources in health department is a major challenge: Kezo

Commissioner & Secretary for Health & Family Welfare V Kezo addressing the Nagaland In-Service Doctors’ Association annual conference cum general body meeting at Hotel Japfü on November 30.

Commissioner & Secretary for Health & Family Welfare V Kezo addressing the Nagaland In-Service Doctors’ Association annual conference cum general body meeting at Hotel Japfü on November 30.

Morung Express News
Kohima | November 30

Commissioner & Secretary for Health & Family Welfare, V Kezo on Thursday termed the shortage of human resource in the health department a major challenge. 

Speaking as the special invitee at the inaugural programme of the Nagaland In-Service Doctors’ Association (NIDA) annual conference cum general body meeting at Hotel Japfü, Kezo cited that better remuneration in the private sector could be one reason why medical professionals no longer find joining the department attractive. 

Commissioner & Secretary for Health & Family Welfare, V Kezo

He pointed out the critical shortage of basic infrastructure, particularly for those doctors who are posted in the outskirts. While acknowledging this a challenging issue, he also maintained that the government should be able to build affordable and reasonable accommodations at all place where there are PHCs, CHCs etc. 

He also suggested to all those doctors posted in the outskirts to actively tie up with the communities and urge them to build housing facilities where officers of the department can rent.  Calling the members of the association as a group of ‘highly intellectuals’, he said the department can have earth shaking impact ‘if you learn to focus like a laser.’ 

“There are lots of things to be done, pressing issues confronting the department and those issues will not get addressed until you come together, sit over calmly, reflect on the issues and see how best to go about solving them,” stated Kezo.

Also stating that the doctors have so much impact on the lives of people around them, he reminded the association against unethical practices adding that unless NIDA establishes and enforces certain professional ethics and norms within its membership, it will struggle to stay relevant. He also urged NIDA to start looking at things more critically among themselves.

Dr Tseilhoutuo Rhutso who was the special guest emphasised on the need to do away with ‘tribalism,’ and pointed out that doctors should be ready to serve humanity wherever they are posted.

Dr Tseilhoutuo Rhutso

Principal Director, H&FW, Dr Ritu Thurr reminded the association on its objectives to improve the standard of medical services and to encourage progress of medical services and education in Nagaland.

While calling on for unity and cooperation among the in-service doctors, he also reminded on the need to maintain and uphold the honour and dignity of the medical profession. He said NIDA with a strength of 435 members with 284 male and 151 female, the association has 119 specialists and 316 General Duties Medical Officer (GDMO).

‘Doctor-to-population ratio stands at 1:4056’

Dr Bernard Amer, in his presidential address, also highlighted the shortage of trained doctors in the state stating that although the association mirrors the magnitude of the department, which has witnessed a substantial increase in size over the years, ‘unfortunately, this growth has not kept pace with the burgeoning population, resulting in a significant shortage of trained doctors in the state.’

Despite WHO recommendation of a doctor-to-population ratio of 1:1000, he informed that in the state it stands at a staggering 1:4056. To this end, Dr Amer said it has communicated the urgent need for an increase in medical seats per year to the government as a long-term measure, while for the short-term solution, NIDA has been advocating for an extension of the superannuation age of doctors to retain more manpower within the department. 

Observing that a significant portion of a doctor’s time is consumed by the execution and implementation of centrally sponsored health programmes, he said, doctors find themselves dedicating substantial efforts to completing these projects on time, often leaving minimal time for addressing state specific concerns.

“It is reiterated often that health is a state subject. If this holds true, we must advocate for better and more state-centric policies and projects” asserted Dr Amer.