Chief Minister Pema Khandu today called for a strong monitoring system in place and change of work culture for successful delivery of health services in Arunachal Pradesh.
Chairing the State Health Mission (SHM) meeting for the first time here today, Khandu said over the years the health service scenario in the state has improved but still there remains large scope for improvement. He particularly emphasised on rationalisation in posting and transfer of health professionals as per criteria and need base.
For actual service delivery at the ground level, the Chief Minister requested the health department and the state health mission to put in place a strong mechanism for monitoring and making officials accountable.
He said despite there being in place monitoring mechanism at all levels, service delivery at the grass root is not satisfactory.
Khandu was very particular about the deteriorating work culture amongst government officials, which has become the major stumbling stone in the health delivery system and urged officials to tighten up their belts or face the consequences.
The Chief Minister also called for convergence of schemes under the National Health Mission with welfare schemes of other departments like Public Health Engineering and Water Supply and Women and Child Development. He directed the NHM officials to coordinate with the officials of these departments and work together for successful implementation of health related schemes especially in rural areas.
“NHM schemes can be successfully implemented in villages with proper coordination between agencies like ASHA and Anganwadi,” he cited an example.
On being informed that release of funds has been an issue in taking up projects and implementing schemes, the Chief Minister said that the Finance Department has been streamlined and its working style has been revamped to avoid delay in release of funds.
For impartial transfer and posting as well as promotions of officials, Khandu advised the department to properly study individual cases so that nobody is denied or deprived of their rights as per norms. Seniority of an employee has to be always taken into consideration to keep up their morale, he said.
“The government is doing and will always do everything for its employees. Now it is for the employees to reciprocate the good gestures and give their best in delivering services to the people,” Khandu added.
Deputy Chief Minister and Finance Minister Chowna Mein expressed surprise that there were so many schemes being sponsored by the Center under NHM not known to many. He advised the State Health Mission to create awareness about the schemes amongst all levels, particularly amongst the legislators so that they can educate their people in their respective constituencies.
Reiterating that the state government has adopted a zero tolerance policy for health services, Mein said this would be possible only through a strong political will. Therefore, he suggested a meeting within the elected members of the state and coming to a consensus on it.
Mein asserted that the government has given top priority to the health sector in this year’s budget and will continue to do so. He requested the department to prepare a comprehensive proposal in consultation with the Finance Commissioner for inclusion in the next budget.
PHE&WS Minister Bamang Felix, also present in the meeting, suggested proper coordination between the health department and PHED as most common ailments are water borne. He requested the department to provide a data of water borne diseases specific to districts or divisions so that his department could take up potable water supply projects accordingly for treatment and distribution.
“The state government has taken a stand to provide treated potable water to every household of the state by 2021 and the health department has to contribute for its success,” he said.
Felix, who is also the minister in-charge of IPR and Printing, called for focusing on the IEC (Information, Education and Communication) aspect of the health mission and offered IPR’s service for it.
Panchayati Raj and Rural Development Minister Alo Libang too viewed that awareness has to be created about the numerous schemes being implemented under NHM especially amongst the legislators. He also suggested taking into confidence the local legislator while implementing the schemes at the grass root levels as they will best know the local issues and can provide logistical support for successful implementation.
Parliamentary Secretary for Health Phurpa Tsering suggested for roping in the deputy commissioners and entrusting them with the responsibility of implementing health schemes successfully in their respective districts. He requested the Health Commissioners to include the deputy commissioners in the next meeting of SHM.
Earlier, state Mission Director for NHM gave a detailed power point presentation on activities being done across the state under NHM and the achievements made so far besides the financial requirements for future activities.
The meeting was also attended by UD and Town Planning Minister Nabam Rebia, Chief Secretary (in charge), Finance Commissioner, Health Commissioner, Secretaries of PHED and Women and Child Development, special invitee Regional Director, GoI, Dr P J Gogoi, Director of Health Servicers and officials of the health department and SHM.