Health in its widest definition means the total well-being of a person – Physical, Mental, Social and Spiritual. It is a basic human right that every individual of all societies deserve. Understanding the importance of health in the process of economic and social development and improving the quality of life of its citizens, the Department of Health and Family Welfare has been endeavoring to provide comprehensive healthcare in the State, especially to the rural areas and vulnerable sections of the society.
With the increase in population, habitation, and emergence of new diseases due to the changing lifestyle, climate change, etc, the health needs of the people have also increased which leads to increase in demand for health facilities, manpower, and services. Though there are gaps and shortcomings with the limited resources, the department is striving to improve the health scenario of the State.
With the process of Communitization in place in 2002, with support through NRHM in 2006 and other centrally sponsored programmes and strong political commitment of the state, the department has made several achievements and positioned itself to take the department forward towards achieving its goals and objectives.
At the time of statehood in 1963 the department inherited a rudimentary infrastructure, with 27 hospitals and 33 Primary Health Centres with a total of 689 hospital beds including a handful of Doctors and Nurses. During the intervening period the department has been steadily striving to restructure the health delivery mechanism to provide universal access to equitable, affordable and quality health care responsive to peoples’ need. Today the Public health infrastructure has increased to 11 District Hospitals,2 TB and Chest Disease Hospitals,1 State Mental Health Institute, 33 Community Health Centres, 143 Primary Health Centres, 583 Sub-centres, 2 Big Dispensaries and 1 Subsidiary Health Centres. The recently notified Sub Centres are yet to be functional and upgraded PHCs and CHCs are yet to function optimally due to resource constraint. The department is working towards development of infrastructure and creation of posts for these newly created medical units.
Through the above mentioned interventions, the health indicators have been steadily improving over the year, as observed in case of Infant Mortality Rate (IMR) from 26 per 1000 live birth in 2009 to 7 in 2019.
With the laying of foundation stone of Nagaland Medical college at Kohima on 3rd March 2014 by Hon’ble Chief Minister, Nagaland, the opportunities will be opened for higher studies to the upcoming students in the state. Construction is going on full swing with an amount of Rs. 189.00 lakhs from Government of India.
The administrative set up of the department is headed by a Cabinet Minister, Principal Secretary at the State level, one Principal Director, and two Directors in the Directorate level and subordinate officers and staff.