Kim condemns own country’s health sector

Source:AFP Published: 2018/8/21 21:08:41

N.Korea suffers from chronic food shortages, inadequate health services


North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has denounced his own country's health services, state media reported Tuesday, criticizing officials for being "very idle and irresponsible."

North Korea, which is subject to multiple sets of UN Security Council sanctions over its pursuit of nuclear weapons, suffers from chronic food shortages and inadequate health services according to international aid agencies.

While Pyongyang regularly proclaims its desire to provide its people with a better life, Kim roundly condemned its health system on a visit to a medical devices factory.

Some sectors "have made remarkable leaps forward in recent years," Kim said according to the official Korean Central News Agency(KCNA), "but the public health sector has never done so and become more and more passive."

"There is no unit keeping its environment well in the public health sector, to say nothing of equipment modernization," he added at the Myohyangsan Medical Appliances Factory.

The ruling Workers' Party had stressed the need to improve health services, but "officials are very idle and irresponsible in doing so," Kim said according to KCNA.

In the Korean-language version, he berated them for "hibernating for a long time," adding: "Animals only hibernate once a year but the health sector has been holed up and hibernating for years and shouting empty slogans."

Since his summit with US President Donald Trump in Singapore in June, Kim has stressed a focus on economic development, visiting industrial sites and factories across the nation.

In this year's "needs and priorities" assessment of North Korea, the UN Development Program described its healthcare services as "inadequate," with a "lack of essential medical equipment, pharmaceutical remedies, appropriate referral systems, therapeutic equipment and assistive devices, as well as limited professional capacity."

"Furthermore, health infrastructure is poor with many [facilities] having inconsistent water, electricity and heating," it added.

North Korea has called for an end to sanctions against it, while the US has urged the international community to maintain a tough approach until its complete denuclearization.



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