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RIMS should lead the way

The establishment of RIMS, then RMC on April 14, 1972 was a watershed moment in Manipur’s story of progress and development. For, its coming into being made a significant difference in the health scenario in Manipur. The health sector saw a sea change. Before the establishment of RIMS, the health care sysytem in Manipur was in a rudimentary stage. The state lacked infrastructure, equipments, there were few doctors and nurses. Specialised doctors with PG degrees could be counted on the fingertips. Vellore, Dibrugarh used to be familiar names because, that was where patients form Manipur used to head to for treatment. All these have changed now. And RIMS in its 39 years of existance played a major role in this much improved health scenario in Manipur. The RIMS hospital now has all the major spcialised departments, patients no longer need to go to far off places for treatment of many of the ailments. This has gone a long way in making health care accessible to many people who do not have the means to go out of the state for treatment. RIMS has proved to be a boon for not only the people of the state but also for a large number of patients from neighbouring Nagaland, Mizoram and other states. Another very important contribution of RIMS is the thousands of doctors who have passed out of its portal.  These doctors, mostly from the north eastern region have fanned out to their respective states, teaching in Medical colleges, working in hospitals, practicing privately, all of them engaged in enchancing medical care in the region.

With the upgardation of to Regional Institute of Medical Sciences and having come directly under the Union Ministry of Health andFamily Welfare, one can look forward to much improved infrastructure, latest medical equipments, much better trained personnel, many more departments of specialisation and super-specialisation. According to the Director of RIMS, a Dental college is set to commence in the next academic sesssion, the Blood Bank has been upgraded to Blood Transfusion Department, intake capacity in MBBS and PG courses have been increased, advanced technology CT scan machine etc have been acquired, among other things. All this is very good news and will definite contribute significantly to further enhancing the medical care delivery system. Ultimately, it will save more lives.

But there are some issues which need to be look into.  The first on our list is the rampant indulgence in private practice by the doctors/ teaching staff of the institute. It is illegal, which we suppose everyone of them know, and it is unethical. Besides, the trend of private practice has greatly affected the working of the hospital. Exploitation of patients for financial gains is another serious consequence of this trend. Another issue, is the lack of professionalism and shoddy service in the hospital. Despite the best of facilities, highly qualified and specialist doctors, exeprienced nurses and other staff, many patients (though mostly from the economically better off section) prefer to go to private hospitals. A trust deficit in the working of the hospital is slowly creeeping in among the people. Then there is the question of hospital environment which leaves much to be desired in terms of cleanliness and hygiene.

RIMS authority should look into these issues, bring about a change in the mindset of its employees, a change in the working of he hospital so that it provides a more professional and caring service to the patients. RIMS given all that is at its disposal in terms of man, machine and expertise, should lead the way in providing better health care facilities not only to the people of the state but to the rest of the region. And who knows, it might even become the favoured medical tourism destination for our South East Asian brethrens.

Sources:- Hueiyen Lanpao

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