Arakan residents continue suffering from shortage of physicians

( Ponna Kyunt, 3 June 2013): The shortage of government physicians in Arakan has deprived the poor residents of the State in respect to modern health care facilities, a fact that is admitted by the elected representative too.

Residents in Ponna Kyunt gathered at Jetty looking forward to a ferry ship.

Residents in Ponna Kyunt gathered at Jetty looking forward to a ferry ship.

One can mention about Ponna Kyaunt township, which is around 16 miles north of Sittwe, capital of Arakan, where there is only one government physician employed by the health ministry to look after the public health of nearly 200000 inhabitants.

The residents in Ponna Kyaunt township suffer from malaria annually. In addition to it, the cholera and diarrhea also surface in the township time to time.

U Nay Lin, a social activist of Ponna Kyunt informed that the residents of the township have to rely on physicians from Sittwe, for all kinds of health related treatment, as there is no sufficient doctor in the township.

“Many patients in our township usually go to Sittwe for health related reasons. Some time, they have to go to the capital city even though they face minor illness.  It is a big problem for the poor families to attend doctors in Sittwe always,” Nay Lin Said.

Though there are two hospitals in Ponna Kyaunt township- one is 16 bedded township level hospital in the down town and another is 8 bedded sub-hospital located at Yota Yoke circle, but only one government physician is presently engaged by the government.

“The Ponna Kyaunt township level has one physician, but there are no doctors at Yota Yoke hospital. We need more doctors and assistants in both the hospitals. The residents have appealed many times to the health ministry for it, but the response remains lukewarm,” asserted the social activist.

U Aung Than Tin, who is an elected representative from the township in Arakan State parliament and also in charge of Arakan mining ministry, also admitted that the people of Ponna Kyunt were facing problems due to shortage of physicians.

“I have already raised the issue with the health ministry, Arakan state parliament and Union parliament of Burma. Now one female doctor has been posted at Yota Yoke sub-hospital. We are expecting more doctors in the other hospitals, but the problem remains with the shortage of qualified physicians in our country,” the minister said.

Of course, the health ministry has promised Aung Than Tin about the appointment of more physicians in the Ponna Kyunt township level hospital as soon as the training session, now going on for 500 physicians, completes.

The minister also added that the health of Dr U Thein Maung, who is now heading Ponna Kyunt hospital is not going well, which has created another problem for the residents. The local people also complain about the expertise of Dr Maung as not being satisfactory to them.

“It emerges as another problem for our township people. I have already presented about the situation to the health ministry and I wish it would soon resolve the problem,” concluded  Aung Than Tin.