SHILLONG, May 2 - Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad Sangma today said he would take up the issues concerning the North Eastern Indira Gandhi Regional Institute of Health and Medical Sciences (NEIGRIHMS) with the Union Health Ministry.
�I am leaving for New Delhi and would take up the NEIGRIHMS issue with the Union Health Ministry,� the Chief Minister said here.
There are allegations that the head of the Cardiology department of the Institute has been asking patients to buy stents and pacemakers from private vendors.
On Tuesday, a private vendor was caught by security personnel carrying stents for supply to patients in the Cath Lab. As per Central Government guidelines, stents and pacemakers are to be made available at the Government-run Amrit pharmacies at a discounted price for poor patients.
However, the Cardiology department has not been submitting lists of these items to the procurement committee of the hospital, leading to non-stocking of these items at the Amrit pharmacies.
�I will find out the whole matter and take up the issue because health is a top priority for the Government,� Sangma said, adding that he would seek the cooperation of the Union Secretary of Health so that all matters are resolved.
The NEIGRIHMS is a superspeciality hospital and provides health services to a large number of patients from the State and elsewhere from the North East. A large number of patients from the Barak Valley of Assam visit the Institute regularly. There are daily direct bus services between the NEIGRIHMS and Silchar for the benefit of the people of the Barak Valley.
A large number of guesthouses have come up around the 500-bed hospital over the years to cater to the needs of patients coming from faraway places such as Karimganj, Hailakandi, Silchar and other States of the region.
Several complaints have been received by the Union Health Ministry regarding doctors asking patients to purchase medicines and other items from private vendors.
Although the administration admits that all medicines and items cannot be stocked, but �important and common medicines and items� need to be readily available at the hospital for which the HoDs must submit their priority lists to the procurement committee, which they have not been doing so far.