From A Staff Reporter
IMPHAL | Nov 18
Governor Najma Heptulla said she has convinced the union government to allocate funds for a flying dispensary which will use a helicopter to provide medical services to remote and hill areas of Manipur.
The governor was speaking today as the chief guest at the second anniversary celebration of the first open heart surgery in Manipur, by Sky hospital and research centre in Imphal. She added that the union civil aviation ministry on her recommendation is deliberating five new airports in the state.
Getting funding for the flying dispensary is her first victory for the people of Manipur, the governor said, adding that her next goal is to make Manipur a tourist attraction. She will have a village or part of Imphal painted so beautifully that it will look like Italy or Spain, Heptulla revealed.
Heptulla said she visited Prime Minister Narendra Modi on her third day as governor and asked for a flying doctor service such as one she had seen in Australia. “I told the Prime Minister that we have military and paramilitary helipads all across the state which could be used for providing medical services,” she said.
Heptulla also requested the Prime Minister to improve connectivity to Manipur by introducing direct flights to and from major cities at least three times a week. “We lose one and a half hours because of connecting flights from Guwahati,” she said.
She lauded Sky hospital chairman and chief cardiologist Dr L. Shyamkishore, who presided over the ceremony, for leaving behind his kids and a flourishing practice in London and returning to Manipur to open a heart care facility. “I wish all Indians, wherever they are, follow his example and come back to contribute in building our nation,” she said.
The governor also said that she too had once wanted to be a doctor, but was below the age limit when she passed high school. Upon the advice of her grand uncle and India’s first education minister Maulana Abul Kalam Azad, she took up research instead. Her doctoral thesis was on the development of conducting tissues in the hearts of birds, Heptullah said.
The governor called the staff at Sky hospital its most valuable reason for success. The hospital has performed 56 open heart surgeries since the first such operation in 2015 on Grace, a young girl from Tamenglong who had a hole in her heart. Grace and her family were also present at the function and thanked the doctors for saving her life.
Health and family welfare minister L. Jayantakumar Singh, guest of honour at the ceremony, said government and private hospitals have to work collectively to ensure delivery of medical services to all the people of the state.
Children who had undergone successful open heart surgeries at the hospital cut a cake celebrating their new lives with the governor and the minister. Chairman of BLK multi-specialty hospital Dr Ajay Kaul and wife of chief minister Hiyainu Devi also attended the event.