Shillong, Sept 19: Leader of Opposition (LoP) in Meghalaya Assembly, Ronnie V Lyngdoh has exhorted the state government to push with the Centre for upgrading NEIGRIHMS into AIIMS-like institutions.
Raising this issue during the Question Hour on the third day of the Autumn session of the State Assembly on Wednesday, Lyngdoh also voiced his concern over absence of the advance healthcare facilities in NEIGRIHMS.
According to him, NEIGRIHMS still does not have departments like endocrinology, nephrology with dialysis unit, gastroenterology, organ transplant, plastic surgery burns unit, pediatric surgery, medical oncology and nuclear science.
He mentioned that the various states Karnataka, Kerala, Goa, Sikkim, Tripura, Mizoram and Manipur have requested the Centre for setting up of AIIMS-like institutes.
Lyngdoh further said that the committee on estimates in the Parliament has asked the Ministry of Health if the Centre has the plan to the upgrade RIMS, Imphal or any other medical institutions in the North East region in view of the fact that only one AIIMS in Guwahati will not be sufficient for all the North Eastern states for specialty and super specialty treatment.
“My question if other States have written then why Meghalaya has not written to uprade NEIGRIHMS to AIIMS like institution,” Lyngdoh who is also the Mylliem Congress MLA said.
He further observed that a lot of doctors from NEIGRIHMs have now joined AIIMS, Guwahati due to the better opportunities and for better treatment facilities.
While urging the government to take this matter seriously, Lyngdoh observed that there are very few who can afford to go for treatment outside the State.
The LoP also pointed that the Centre will not have to incur any huge expenditure since NEIGRIHMS has the necessary facilities and infrastructure and even there is no problem of availability of land.
“What is needed is for the Centre to push some additional infrastructure here and there in order to upgrade NEIGRIHMS to AIIMS like institution,” Lyngdoh said.
In her reply, Health Minister, Ampareen Lyngdoh said that there is a USP to the word or nomenclature of AIIMS and there is a feeling that if the state has AIIMS-like institution then it can have an access to a state-of-the art treatment in the State.
She, however, pointed that NEIGRIHMS has been registered as an autonomous institute which has many facilities adding that the expansion has already started.
According to her, there going to be a state-of-the-art oncology department with very high- tech facilities for radiology and other facilities since the tag AIIMS means a lot to patients in general.
“We already had a conversation with the Union Health Minister and yes we will pursue the matter. We are just preparing a DO to the Union health minister to look into the matter. We will be very fortunate to have that kind of institution in Meghalaya,” she said.
Reacting to Health Minister reply, he said that he feels that AIIMS is not only a tag since there are so many other advantages and it has more financial and administrative powers.
“I am happy to learn that the Union government has already taken up the matter with the state government,” he said.