Nagaland minister to improve rural healthcare

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KOHIMA: Nagaland minister for health and family welfare P Longon said rural hospitals should be strengthened and medicines made available in rural areas of the state.

At an introductory meeting with the directorate of health and family welfare here on Friday, Longon said doctors had chosen their profession and ought to serve the public sincerely. Health care and education are the basic needs of mankind, he added.

He sought the department’s cooperation to deliver the best services to people. Longon said the health department could not work properly as most of its staff and doctors were not willing to serve in remote rural areas.

“Healthcare and education are our basic needs. Healthcare should be provided round-the-clock. We have to develop our infrastructure and hire more doctors,” said the newly appointed minister.

Longon, whose own father was a medical attendant, said he had seen how badly most hospitals functioned and people in how rural areas were always at the receiving end.

Longon said, in the early 60s and 70s, medicines were available in plenty, but such facilities are lacking today. Longon vowed to take steps to ensure that people in the rural areas got medicines when required.

He said doctors hardly wanted to serve in far-flung areas.

“Doctors should change their attitude. They must make their services available when it is required,” said Longon, adding that more needed to be done in the healthcare sector. Without mincing words, the minister warned that disciplinary action would be initiated against anybody who worked without transparency.

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