New Meghalaya health minister takes stock of situation

Meghalaya Congress leader Ampareen Lyngdoh
Ampareen Lyngdoh | File photo

Newly-appointed Meghalaya health and family welfare minister Mazel Ampareen Lyngdoh took stock of the prevailing condition in her department during a meeting with officials even as she assured them of full support from the government in the various health-related endeavours, an official said on March 14.

The health minister was briefed about the various ongoing developments in the department aimed at improving the health of citizens in the state.

Senior health officials briefed Lyngdoh on the progress made in the implementation of various health programs and initiatives. They highlighted the key achievements of the health department in the past years, including the inclusion of coverage for outpatient departments (OPDs) under the Megha Health Insurance Scheme, the launch of the Meghalaya Health Systems Strengthening Project, Meghalayan Medical Drugs and services, Meghalaya Medical Services Recruitment Board, Rescue Mission, and Digitization and Technology in health.

Principal secretary health and family welfare department, P Sampath Kumar informed the minister that the health department is guided by a 3-dimensional framework for universal health coverage as per the Meghalaya Health Policy, 2021.

“The three dimensions are preventive care, which includes demand and supply side interventions, curative care, which includes health institutions such as community health centres, primary health centre, sub centres and enabling, which includes policy and measures,” the official said.

The health department is expecting to increase the lifespan of the people, health-seeking behaviour by the citizens, preventive care and decrease in out-of-pocket expenses, mortality rate, and curative care and to balance the total fertility rate.

The officials also informed the minister about the challenges faced by the Meghalaya health department, such as the shortage of healthcare professionals, providing quality healthcare to hard-to-reach areas, and the rising burden of non-communicable diseases due to several risk factors such as smoking, substance abuse, and others.

Speaking after the briefing, the health minister expressed her appreciation for the department’s efforts in improving the health of the people and providing quality health services to all citizens of the state.

Lyngdoh assured the health officials of the government’s support and also encouraged them to consider taking suggestions and recommendations from local MLAs from the various assembly constituencies, as well as focusing on the well-being of the health workers.

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