The Government of Arunachal Pradesh has embarked on a transformational journey to boost health care access and services within the state. Over the past seven years, an ambitious drive to upgrade health infrastructure has been underway, aimed at addressing the unique challenges posed by the state’s rugged geography, vast area and low population density. This sustained effort has resulted in a significant reduction in the shortage of healthcare human resources, which has come down from 33 per cent to just 6 per cent in a span of two and a half years. While the government has successfully met the requirements laid down by the Indian Public Health Standards (IPHS) for General Duty Medical Officers, the only shortfall is specialist posts.
The foundation of this remarkable transformation rests on the substantial growth of district hospitals, strong community health centres, primary health centres, sub-centres and health and wellness facilities. With a strong focus on maternal and child care, institutional delivery points, critical and emergency care, cancer care and kidney care, the state administration is unwavering in its commitment towards overall health enhancement.
The Department of Health and Family Welfare presented a comprehensive set of proposals before the state cabinet, which includes a multi-pronged approach for preventive, curative and rehabilitative care services. Recognizing the need to address emerging public health challenges, the cabinet gave its nod to the establishment of the Public Health Nursing Cadre. This innovative move involves the creation of 450 posts in various clusters, with an aim to strengthen nursing services across the state.
Envisioned Public Health Nursing Cadre is poised to play a vital role in disease prevention, carrying out a wide range of services at different levels of health care delivery. By implementing outreach programs and offering patient guidance, this cadre aims to prevent disease outbreaks and promote healthy lifestyles, thus contributing to comprehensive primary health coverage.
In response to increasing demands on secondary health facilities due to increasing congestion, the cabinet also approved the formation of a hospital nursing cadre. Including positions across various groups, this strategic decision is in line with ongoing improvements in hospital infrastructure and reforms across the wider health sector. The new cadre is set to promote curative care by meeting both definite and emergency medical needs.
Concurrently, as nursing schools and colleges proliferate across the state, the need for additional faculty positions is growing. Recognizing this, the cabinet approved the creation of Associate Professor and Assistant Professor posts in the nursing discipline with a view to meet the standards set by the Indian Nursing Council and enhance the quality of nursing education.
Beyond nursing, the government is committed to ramping up clinical services. Modern laboratories, diagnostic equipment and medical facilities have been set up, with free diagnostic initiatives extending these services to the grassroots level. Recognizing the importance of skilled human resources in maintaining these services, the cabinet approved the creation of additional Laboratory Technician posts.
In a significant advancement for medical education, TRIHMS, the only medical college in the state, celebrated its inaugural batch of MBBS graduates. With plans to increase the student strength and recent facilities like Cardiac Cath Lab, the college stands as an icon of medical education. To meet the increasing human resource demands, the cabinet approved additional posts including Nursing Officers for TRIHMS.
With streamlined recruitment rules and better career progression for these essential posts, important healthcare roles such as Lady Health Visitors and Health Assistants were also given due attention.
Overall, the healthcare journey of Arunachal Pradesh reflects its remarkable commitment to transform its healthcare landscape, bridge the gap, enhance services and advance medical education to create a healthier future for its citizens.