While the country is grappling with the worst-ever health crisis following the outbreak of novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19), Meghalaya has done reasonably well in containing the deadly virus. Meghalaya, in fact, records less than two thousand Covid 19 active cases so far. The credit for this commendable feat goes to the health minister of state, Alexander Laloo Hek. As a silent crusader, Hek took the situation as a challenge, assessed it and deftly monitored the progress as well as the roadblocks confronted by the public healthcare sector in the state.
Dedicated funds to strengthen health infra
As we know public healthcare facilities play a critical role in tackling health disasters, but people in our country are often skeptic about the quality of the public health infrastructure.
To strengthen the existing health infrastructure of 186 public health centres, Meghalaya Government has earmarked Rs 75 crore amid rising coronavirus cases. The funds will be utilized in upgrading the health infrastructure of health centres including Community Health Centres (CHCs) and Public Health Centres (PHCs).
Responding to this development, Health and Family Welfare Minister Alexander Laloo Hek said, “We have received a sanction of Rs 75 crore from Chief Minister Conrad Sangma, for strengthening the health care system of Meghalaya. The fund is dedicated for the upgrading the available infrastructure, including the extensions of building or upgrading medical equipment in health centres. No fund will go to new projects.”
Deputy Commissioners to head committees in respective districts
In a recently held video conference, Hek informed district health officials that the amount sanctioned is for the first phase and also that the project for upgrading the health infrastructure will be implemented in four phases.
“We aim to improve healthcare infrastructure, including power and water supplies, last mile connectivity and quarters of staff and doctors. A video conference with District Medical and Health officers and Deputy Commissioners of all the districts was held to brief them about the project in detail. We are focusing on strengthening the health care system in the district, and in doing so will form committees where Deputy Commissioners will be chairpersons and DMHO will be member secretaries. Both will closely monitor the strengthening system. In the first phase, PHCs, CHCs and dispensaries will be upgraded,” he added.
Covid-19 has exposed fault lines at different levels of healthcare delivery systems, especially in infrastructure, a key component that proves to be the biggest obstacle in delivering quality and affordable healthcare, especially in remote areas. Meghalaya’s endeavour to ramp up health infrastructure in remote areas is a timely step in the right direction.
Featured Image Courtesy: Fierce Healthcare