Health dept to engage consultant to frame health policy

[ Tongam Rina ]
ITANAGAR, May 8: The state health department has said that it is in the process of engaging a consultant to frame health policy for the state.
Responding to a news item published in this daily regarding formulation of the draft transfer policy without framing a health policy first, the secretary health P. Parthiban said that “a huge chunk of doctors are available in Naharlagun and Itanagar leaving aside the far flung areas.”
The health secretary further said that in order to rationalize the posting of the doctors, the draft policy has been initiated.
“Transfer Policy was never framed in Arunachal Pradesh. It is known to all that without transparency people are transferred. All efforts are being made to optimize the HR available. In order to ensure there is no partiality, we have introduced the transfer policy”, he said.
A six-member committee has been formed to submit its suggestions and recommendations on the draft transfer policy along with the categorization of the health facilities.
The committee has been asked to submit the report by May 12 next for necessary approval by the state government.
Responding to allegation that ICUs were functioning without adequate number of oxygen cylinders and that there was no backup plan, the secretary health further said that all the ICUs established till now are provided with jumbo cylinders to run the ventilators.
The health officials had informed this daily that ICUs were functioning without adequate number of oxygen cylinders and that there was no backup plan. The secretary further denied that low quality ventilators were ever supplied.
The health authorities had earlier said that two ventilators procured for the ICU at Tomo Riba Institute of Health and Medical Sciences had to be retuned as they were of low specification and not suitable for a tertiary centre.
The secretary further said that in total 12 ventilators in six hospitals in Aru-nachal will be established.
In the draft health policy, one of the points is that “only the central executive members of the Arunachal Pradesh Doctor’s Association (APDA), as defined in the constitution of the association, may, if posted at a health facility/ office outside Itanagar/ Naharlagun, be brought on transfer to a facility/ office at Itanagar/ Naharlagun. In case, however, already posted at a facility/ office in Itanagar/ Naharlagun, a doctor will not be transferred to a facility/ office outside Itanagar/ Naharlagun so long as he continues to hold the office by virtue of which he is entitled to be retained at Itanagar/Naharlagun.”
APDA is not a government body; therefore inclusion of the particular section is rather questionable even though the department says that the whole exercise is intended towards a transparent transfer policy.