SHILLONG: The stand-off between the Cardiology Department and the North Eastern Indira Gandhi Regional Institute of Health and Medical Sciences (NEIGRIHMS) administration which led to the death of a woman came up for discussion in the Meghalaya Assembly during the Autumn session on Thursday.
The issue was raise during a short duration discussion, brought by Independent legislator from Mawphlang, Syntar Klas Sunn.
Sunn said that Dr DM Thappa, the present Director of NEIGRIHMS joined in April 2017 and soon after the administration came up with a vacation schedule that left the institute without doctors in critical departments because there were not enough faculty strength in many departments.
“This schedule would have been fine for an institution with the full faculty strength, but not NEIGRIHMS with its skeletal strength. Thereby, adversely affected patient care,” Sunn said.
The Mawphlang MLA said that the major impact was felt by those needing surgery.
He pointed out that while number of major surgeries conducted during 2016-17 was 4, 034, the number of major surgeries conducted dropped to 3, 803 during 2017-18.
He also said that NEIGRIHMS appears to be under some sort of problem since 2017.
The Mawphlang MLA pointed out that NEIGRIHMS is both an academic and scientific institution providing space for educational research in the different fields of medicine.
“The medical fraternity, teachers, students, administrative staff and the civil society around where the institution is built, who are the stakeholders have expressed that it would be wrong of any Director to think that the people of Meghalaya and of Shillong in particular do not have a say in what is going on in NEIGRIHMS and therefore call upon the ruling government not to allow the institute to wither away,” he said.
Sunn also stated that the governing council of the institute has remained dormant for more than four years now and this could be the primary reason that bled to the occurrences of a number of unfortunate events in NEIGRIHMS.
He also said that the NEIGRIHMS faculty is aggrieved by the fact that the assessment promotion scheme which is applied across all central government medical institutes has not been implemented in NEIGRIHMS.
“This has affected the career graph of the existing faculty and their morale as well,” the Mawphlang legislator told the House,” he said.
In his reply, State Health and Family Welfare Minister, AL Hek said that in the wake of claims and counter claims by both NEIGRIHMS and Head of Department, Cardiology, Dr Animesh Mishra, he has requested Chief Minister, Conrad K Sangma, to propose to the government of India for a high level enquiry committee into the tussle.
According to Hek, the committee should include representatives from the state – a senior level IAS officer, a senior officer from the central government and one or two technical experts from reputed institutes like AIIMS, Delhi, GB Pant Hospital, Delhi and Medanta Hospital, Delhi, for a free and fair enquiry to resolve the issue and save NEIGRIHMS hospital.
When asked by Sunn, the state Health and Family Welfare Minister also informed that the new governing council was constituted in June this year but has not sit so far and also Meghalaya is yet to establish the state medical council.