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Regional hubs for services can be the answer

Feb 20,2019 - Last updated at Feb 20,2019

His Majesty King Abdullah summed up the concerns of various regions of the country when he said, during his most recent field trip to the southern governorate of Tafileh, that it is simply “unacceptable” that the people of this city, or any other city or village on the outskirts of the country, would have to travel all the way to the capital city Amman to seek medical attention.

Obviously, what applies to high-grade medical health services applies to other services that the people everywhere are entitled to under the laws of the country. The example of medical services is only one among other important services that the public expects to enjoy in all parts of the country and not only in Amman.

The people of Tafileh, and other similarly situated cities and towns in the north or south of the country, often find it nearly impossible to conduct their affairs outside of Amman and must, therefore, incur much expense to travel to the capital to settle their affairs.

Clearly though, medical services top all such services that people often need and have to travel long distances for. The other side of the equation is the fact that the government cannot be expected to provide the same excellent and full services to all the people of the country in all corners of the Kingdom and wherever they happen to live. The cost could be beyond the reach of any government, including our own, especially when the country is running a high deficit.

The financial constraints need to be taken on board in searching for remedies. The most obvious way to address this challenge is to provide regional hubs for medical services or others, where the quality of the services could be on par with what can be found in Amman. This could be the affordable and practical way to deal with the problem without straining the national budget beyond reasonable limits.

Whatever is the solution, the King has sounded the alarm, and the concerned authorities need to address it in the most practical and economic way possible. As is, the people of Jordan must not be forced to travel hundreds of kilometres in search of remedies for their basic needs. This would be simply untenable.

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