Health ministry lacks resources, professionals: Dalil
Some lawmakers criticised the process and called for prioritising a debate on pressing national security issues, including attacks on prominent figures.
Dalil identified limited financial resources, insecurity and lack of specialist doctors as main problems of her ministry. "We want to open clinics in different parts of the country but such services are expensive and require huge budgets."
Most of professional health workers were working in big cities and sending them to remote provinces was problematic due to security risks, she said. Currently, 27 percent of healthcare centres were without lady health workers, she added.
In some parts of the country, the ministry is faced with a shortage of professionals. To overcome the problem, she said, both time and resources were needed.
About the ministry's plans, she said 10 hospitals, 29 healthcare centres and blood banks would in different provinces during the current year. A new building for the Jamhuriat Hospital in Kabul will be operationalised with assistance from the Agha Khan Foundation.
Completed at a cost of $25 million (1.15 billion afghanis) provided by China in 2010, the 350-bed building is yet to be used.
Sixty percent of Afghans have access to medical services. With the implementation of a five-year plan, Dalil said, the number would increase to 90 percent.
Treatment of more than 29 million patients, 382,000 safe births and the administration of polio and other vaccines were the main achievements of the ministry last year, she added.
During the session, some of the public representatives stressed a debate on security issues, not on the health situation.
A member from Kabul, Mohammad Younus Qanuni condemned recent attacks, saying: "Two security incidents that took place last week were out of the ordinary, in which prominent figures were killed."
The government's reaction was confined to denouncing the killings; nothing was being done to prevent such attacks, Qanuni regretted. "The killings of Khan Mohammad Mujahid and Malak Zarin were preplanned."
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