The recent trend of the state’s citizens flocking at private run hospitals and clinics cannot be solely attributed to people’s preference for these hospitals. There are numerous reasons for patients from within the state rushing to these private hospitals even if they have to shell out extra money.
However, it has been quite apparent that healthcare system in rural and hill areas of the state still continue to be a dismal stage. Due to lack of facilities or non existence healthcare system, many from far flung areas of the state eventually rush to Imphal for availing the required facilities with certain amount of hope.
As a convention, the expectation of the healthcare system in India had been based on providing adequate facilities for treatment of patients in Primary Health Centres (PHCs) and Districts Hospitals (DHs). When these PHCs and DHs fail to deliver the expected results, it is quite natural for people to consequently line up in front of numerous private run hospitals. This does not however mean some of the private hospitals are not the patients’ first choices. In fact, some have done exceedingly well in providing the desired results even surpassing the expectations of the well established health institutes in the state.
The issue of charging exorbitant fees for treating patients in the private run hospitals are not necessarily linked to the motives of fleecing the poor patients but is directly related to the structural and infrastructural system that India as a whole suffers from. Under such circumstances, at least the efforts being made by the state health authorities on scoring high in Health Development Index should be appreciated.
Manipur can still exhibit its pride and showcase recent achievement in the health sector as it was recently adjudged the best among Northeast and hill states category and second in the all India ranking. It may be recalled that Manipur indeed fared well in infant mortality rate, maternal mortality ratio, total fertility and immunization achievement, availability of doctors and paramedical staff at Primary Health Centres (PHCs) and operationalisation of 24×7 facility at PHCs.
Having made certain issues clear, it is also a fact that the government funded health institutions lack superior medical equipment and technology besides the utterly poor management of the system riddled with unnecessary bureaucratic hurdles. These problems still continue to trouble government run health institutes in spite of having doctors and professors well versed with the latest development in the realm of medical sciences, trained and nurtured in renowned Indian and foreign institutes.
Another issue worth pondering over is the quality of services provided in the government run health institutes. There had been several complaints that the management of these centres and institutes fall far below the expected standard. Here, it should be reminded that the successful running of public institutions is not only based on the presence of qualified doctors or professors but the totality of services provided. Hence, the need for infusing qualitative spirit into public service.