Patients in Natthankwin face difficulties due to health staff shortage

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Caption – Junta soldiers blockade and search residents in Mone and Kyaukkyi Townships (Photo – KNU/Archive)

Patients in need of urgent treatment are having difficulty accessing health care in Natthankwin in Kyaukkyi Township, Bago Region, due to a shortage of medical personnel following fighting in the town in June, according to residents.

Health workers, including doctors and nurses, fled the town after the military junta attacked Natthankwin with airstrikes during clashes with resistance forces in early June. This made it difficult for patients in critical condition to receive emergency care, residents said.

One local said patients now have to travel to other nearby towns for emergency treatment.

“Since the battle for Natthankwin, there have been no doctors at the hospital, only nurses. Some have participated in CDM, while others have fled after submitting their resignation letters. Therefore, emergency patients have to go to Penwegon. Some who can afford it even go as far as Taungoo,” he said.

However, frequent checkpoints by junta troops along the road from Natthankwin to Penwegon have caused delays in treatment, while the rainy season has damaged the roads, making travel difficult, especially for the elderly, according to residents.

“The roads are damaged during the rainy season. We can’t get there from the villages because the roads are blocked. People used to be allowed to cross by boat, but later this was only allowed for transporting food and medical emergencies and for security reasons. From Yayle village, we have to walk to Gyobingauk. It is very difficult for the elderly and emergency patients,” said a local.

Those who can afford it have moved to other nearby towns, while the less well-off remain in the military-controlled town.

The junta has raided homes and checked households, arresting anyone who appears suspicious, residents said. Some are being held at the police station for alleged political offenses.

Similarly, in Kyaukkyi Township in Nyauglebin District – an area controlled by Karen National Union (KNU) Brigade 3 – the military has restricted the transport of medicine and food, confiscated vehicles, and demanded money, according to the Karen Emergency Relief Committee.

Sent by KIC.

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