Views & Reviews
The Unfulfilled Dreams of Medical Patients in Nagaland
Today, the major concerns of men and women are good health and long life. We all try to maintain good health in the best possible manner. We wish to live a long life with our loved ones. When overtaken by sickness, we spend all our financial resources to get back to normalcy. Good health and ill health are part of human existence. Most hospitals are filled with people suffering from different diseases and sicknesses. Sickness is blind to religion, caste or tribe. It visits the rich and poor alike. Thanks to the Directorate of health and family welfare, Doctors and Nurses for rendering their timely service.
Awareness programme on different health issues have reached all nooks and corners of Nagaland. But well run and updated gadgets have not. We must improve upon what we have failing which we will continue to risk the life of people under our care. Most death occurs due to lack of proper facilities. This must not go on.
Look at the district hospitals in our State. Are we satisfied with the available facilities? Look at the community health centres in your respective area. Are you happy to be admitted there as patients? Who is responsible for maintaining all Government hospitals and CHCs with necessary equipments and medical tools? Which department should be held responsible pertaining health issues? When will we have all necessary equipments for medical treatment in our own State? Shall we tell patients of every kind to bring their own medical kit for treatment? Shall we continue treating patients only with doses of tablets and medicines? Should we continue taking every serious patient to Shillong, Imphal, Guwahati and other far places for better treatment? In most cases we take them only to bring back their dead bodies. When shall we stop referring patients outside our State for lack of facilities in our medical hospitals? Shall we continue writing sad history?
Faced by challenges on health issues like Covid-19, there are many guidelines and restrictions issued by the Directorate of health and family welfare as preventive measures and precautions against corona virus. Apart from guidelines and awareness, we need basic facilities in all hospitals both far and near. We must not only focus on Kohima and Dimapur. Nagaland extends beyond these two towns. The concern department seems to be fully equipped to face the challenge for all allegations against the department is well refuted. Yes, we do not deny the tireless efforts of the department. In case of positive patient, quarantine in some assigned hospitals should be made available. No one should be asked to go back home to quarantine themselves for lack of facilities especially in far flung areas? All the more, there are students/trainees in nursing (ANM and GNM) in some Government hospitals who are still on practical duty in their respective hospitals. Are they given appropriate facilities to protect themselves? Shall they continue their practical (as students) at this juncture?
We have the best doctors and nurses in our State, but due to lack of facilities they may not be performing their duty to the best of their abilities. With the outbreak of covid-19, the directorate of health and family welfare wants all doctors and nurses to be in their respective work place. This is the need of the hour. They must be in their assigned work place not only these days but as per their duty. But if there are no proper facilities available in hospitals and CHCs, how will they treat their patients efficiently? Firstly, supply all necessary equipments, tools and facilities to all Government hospitals and CHCs, and then the department can demand strict attendance of all concerned people in their respective work place. We cannot demand work from any one without giving them necessary tools and kits. I hope this unfortunate situation of corona virus infection will open the eyes of the Nagas to see beyond the bare minimum necessities of medical tools, kits and equipments in our Government hospitals and community health centers. A roof, four walls and strong standing monolith of inauguration do not make a hospital.
Last December, I met a boy (a sema boy from Dimapur) in NEIGRIMS who brought his mother, a cancer patient for treatment. Doctors gave up hope on her. One known Naga doctor, with kind and gentle words encouraged the mother and son for proper rest and care respectively. The son came out and stood near the door with tears in his eyes. With a heavy heart, I went to comfort him. I can only do that much. This is one among the many sad stories of Nagas searching for reliable good hospital outside Nagaland to extend the life of their beloved ones even for few days. We are free to go anywhere for any treatment. But let our hospitals also provide the best facilities for patients in Nagaland.
Life goes on in Nagaland like a dream. We only dream of living like other people. We dream that our State also develop and progress like other States. We dream of travelling on good roads. We dream of studying in good schools and colleges. We dream of good governance. We dream that every schemes and projects are well implemented in towns and villages. We dream of corruption free society. We dream of having well-equipped medical hospitals. When will these dreams turn into realities? Which generation will see this new dawn in Nagaland?
I pray that the Directorate of health and family welfare under the capable guidance and aid from the Government of Nagaland ensure better health care in Nagaland even in the days to come. Kudos to all Doctors and Nurses who are giving their best service in spite of many hurdles and difficulties in their work places. Together, let us fight against sickness and disease in our land. For this we need good working hospitals and CHCs with all necessary kits and equipments. God bless you all.
With prayers and concern,
Rev. Fr. G L Khing