Deficits of healthcare facilities in north east states

The north east region has 99% of its boundary as international border and it consists of states as Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland and Tripura. Health care sector is under developed and neglected in most parts of India and north east is no exception. The factors contributing to this may be due to its geographical location to socio economic factors. Because of the geographical location with respect to rest of India accessibility is a major concern. The healthcare delivery system is also lacking its luster. Hospitals are under equipped which is affecting the quality of healthcare provided to the population. Moreover there is lack of infra structure in most parts of north east especially in the far flung areas. There is also shortage of trained medical man power, be it doctors, nursing staff or other paramedical staff. Apart from deficits in primary health care, superspeciality services are also poor. Patients have to go outside their own state to get the quality treatment. Socio-economic factors add to the problems as patients who cannot afford to go, usually borrow or sell their properties to get treatment in tertiary care hospitals. Lack of confidence in health care facilities forces patients to sought medical services outside the region even for minor ailments.

Infectious and communicable diseases like malaria and tuberculosis are the most common in this region. This might be attributed to lack of proper sanitation facilities and lack of awareness in general population especially those in far flung areas. Also due to the increased change in lifestyle non-communicable diseases like diabetis and hypertension are also becoming a cause of concern.

There is increasing incidence of various cancers in this region. High level of tobacco consumption and alcohol intake may be contributing factors. Tobacco related cancers are the highest in this region. Majority of oral cancer cases were found to be from rural areas and associated with chewing habits. A significant association of consumption of tobacco was found in oral, oropharyngeal, oesophageal cancers. Lack of quality diagnostic and therapy facilities forces patients and relatives to seek medical advice from various metros.