Nagaland Achieves Milestone with Inauguration of Its First Medical College

News Reporter News Reporter
Monday, October 16, 2023
Nagaland Achieves Milestone with Inauguration of Its First Medical College
Union Health Minister Inaugurates Nagaland's First Medical College
Nagaland, India - October 16, 2023: In a momentous occasion, Union Health Minister Dr. Mansukh L Mandaviya officially inaugurated Nagaland's first medical college, the Nagaland Institute of Medical Science and Research (NIMSR) in Phriebagie, Kohima, on Saturday. This landmark event marks a significant step forward in the state's healthcare and education landscape.

Dr. Mandaviya highlighted that NIMSR's establishment is not just about providing medical education and employment opportunities but is also a crucial endeavor to enhance healthcare facilities and research in the region. Emphasizing the importance of healthcare as a service, he reiterated the need to avoid commercialization, reflecting the principles of the past.

What sets NIMSR apart is its dual role as both a medical college and a research institute. Dr. Mandaviya expressed his delight, explaining that this setup allows for in-depth research on local health issues, making it a valuable resource for addressing healthcare challenges.

The health minister also paid tribute to Prime Minister Modi's vision of developing the North East, especially in the healthcare sector, underscoring its significance for India's growth. He commended Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio's dedication to fulfilling the government's vision of providing improved health facilities and assured the Center's continued support.

Dr. Mandaviya proposed the establishment of Jan Aushadi Kendras in every health facility in Nagaland, aiming to provide healthcare opportunities to underprivileged patients through partnerships with Ayushman Bharat and CM Health Insurance Scheme (CMHIS). He stressed the need to strengthen medical and nursing education to address the growing demand for healthcare professionals.

In a promising development, the Health Ministry is collaborating with other countries to provide human resources in the form of nurses, which would generate employment opportunities for the local population.

Acknowledging Nagaland's rich cultural heritage, the minister emphasized the potential for medical tourism, where individuals can receive treatment while experiencing the beauty of the region.

However, it is essential to recognize that inaugurating NIMSR is just one part of the equation. Dr. Mandaviya acknowledged the critical need for competent educators in the healthcare sector. He noted that while the presence of a medical college is a significant step, the impact would be limited unless it attracts and retains top-tier educators.

"In North East India, many hospitals are present, but the region still grapples with a shortage of well-trained doctors," emphasized Dr. Mandaviya. He highlighted that the success of NIMSR should be measured not just by infrastructure but by the quality of educators and medical professionals it nurtures. Quality medical education is paramount for producing proficient healthcare practitioners and should be a central focus in the development of NIMSR.

The shortage of skilled doctors in the North East has long been a pressing issue, and the establishment of NIMSR must aim to bridge this gap. The success of NIMSR should not be measured solely by the number of students it enrolls but by the caliber of doctors it produces. As the institution takes its first steps toward shaping the future of healthcare in Nagaland, the emphasis on securing dedicated and accomplished educators cannot be understated.

Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio described the inauguration of NIMSR as a historic day for the people of Nagaland, as their dream of a medical college has been realized after 60 years of statehood. He highlighted the lack of regional or national institutes in the state's higher education sector, which has led to a significant outflow of students to other states for education.

Despite Nagaland being ranked as one of the safest states for women and having a low crime rate, Rio pointed out that the unresolved Naga political issue and the presence of the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act have deterred visitors, hampering tourism.

He expressed hope that NIMSR would continue to grow as a center of excellence, contribute to the region's healthcare sector, and attract students for higher education.

Health & Family Welfare Minister Paiwang Konyak believed that the inauguration of NIMSR would enhance the healthcare delivery system in Nagaland. With an acute shortage of doctors, he highlighted the need to increase the number of MBBS seats to address the shortage of medical professionals.

The journey to establish a medical college in Nagaland began in 2013-14, and formal classes commenced on September 1, 2023, with the first batch of 100 students. NIMSR aspires to become a center of excellence in academics, research, and patient care services, aiming to produce doctors with the qualities of the best physicians.

In a gesture of generosity, Dr. Tseilhoutuo Rhütso, the proprietor of KOHIMAS hospital and Kohima town MLA, donated around 40 specimens of pathological tissues and organs collected over a decade to NIMSR, including several rare medical and surgical conditions.

The inaugural event saw the unveiling of a monolith, attended by Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio, Deputy CM TR Zeliang, ministers, MLAs, and officials. The dedicatory prayer was led by Reverend Dr. Kevichalie Metha, and a vote of thanks was offered by V. Kezo, the Commissioner & Secretary of Health & Family Welfare.