ITANAGAR- National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has issued notice to Arunachal Pradesh Chief Secretary on the acute shortage of doctors in Kurung Kumey District, on the basis of a complaint lodged by North East Human Rights Organization (NEHRO) in November last year alleging that the people of said district were facing acute shortage of doctors, child specialist and other specialists, etc.
The complaint also alleged suffering of people due to non-availability of medical equipments in the district.
Pursuant to the directions of the NHRC, a report on December 14 last was received from the office of the state joint secretary according to which, the list of sanctioned strength and present number of doctors in Kurung Kumey had been furnished.
It was further reported that the state Director of Health Services, has placed many proposals for posting of doctors in the district, which has been approved and order was passed.
However, due to the concerned doctor’s representation for retention, the process has not achieved its intended action yet.
The report also revealed a shocking state of affairs as seven of the PHC and CHCs have no doctor at all, despite a sanctioned post in each. There are only five doctors in place as against 23 sanctioned posts of doctors in nine hospitals of the district.
The District Hospital has only four doctors, as against 11 sanctioned posts.
The NEHRO in a statement said that right to health can be read into the fundamental right to life under article 21 of the Constitution, as held by the Supreme Court. Moreover, article 47 of the Constitution mandates that it is among the primary duties of the state to improve public health.
“Evidently, the state needs to do much more to ensure that its people have access to basic health care,” the statement said.
“We are very shocked to know the acute shortage of man power in the health department of Kurung Kumey. We believe that, one of the major problems is that political leaders are interfering in the transfer and posting of doctor for their personal political gain. We appeal Chief Minister Pema Khandu to issue a strict directive to refrain everyone for political interference,” the NEHRO said.
It is important for government leaders to refrain from interfering in the transfer and posting of doctors and to ensure that any decisions made are based on the best interests of the patients and the health care system, the organisation said.
To address the problem, it is important for governments to create and enforce clear policies that ensure that transfers and postings are made on the basis of merit, rather than political interests. This can be done by establishing independent bodies to oversee transfers and postings and by creating a transparent and accountable process for making such decisions, the NEHRO added.