Many a times when Prime Minister Narendra Modi goes on a high profile visit to a state, he gifts a AIIMS among other things. This time, he inaugurated such an important health institution at Bilashpur in Himachal Pradesh. Of course, state assembly elections in the state are knocking at the door and the Election Commission of India has already begun preparations. Central ministers have been time and again promising to upgrade RIMS to the level of AIIMS.
However, it did not materialise although Manipur state assembly elections were held early this year. So it is but natural for us to ask as to what is the hitch? Regional Institute of Medical Sciences Imphal (RIMS), the state’s premier medical institution has made it to the list of top 50 medical colleges in India as per the India Rankings 2022 under the National Institutional Ranking Framework by the Education Ministry while no university or college from the state could make the cut even among the top 100 institutions.
It is for the fourth consecutive year that RIMS has been listed among the top 50 medical colleges in the country. While the institute was ranked 46th among the top 50, scores of many medical colleges decreased and the score of RIMS increased compared to past years. Thanks to the leadership of Director Dr A Shanta and his team for saving Manipur’s reputation.
Yet, his contribution remains unacknowledged. The grapevine says some powerful elements in the ruling cliché here are working overtime to oust him from RIMS. As a result, his transfer order to NEGRIMS was issued by the Ministry of Health some time back. Perhaps, those elements do not want another feather on Dr Shanta’s cap.
The institute has come a long way since its establishment in May 1972, as a joint venture of the Northeastern states. On September 14, 1972, the name was changed to Regional Medical College, Imphal. The college was later renamed as North Eastern Regional Medical College under the management of North Eastern Regional Medical College Society.
From August, 1976, it was run under the Ministry of Home, Government of India and was the only medical college run by the Ministry of Home. Nearly 19 years later, the college was again renamed as Regional Institute of Medical Sciences and its management was taken over by NEC, Ministry of DoNER from April 1, 1995.
After exactly 12 years, on the historic day of April 1, 2007, the institute was transferred to the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare. When the then Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan visited Imphal in March last year, the state was expecting an announcement. Numerous Central leaders had promised to uplift it to the level of AIIMS, many a times. But, somehow it has eluded the institute in spite of its various achievements towards providing health education and quality healthcare facilities to the region.
He however promised that the Central government will extend support in promoting proper healthcare systems in the state and upgrading of RIMS to the level of AIIMS. The Union minister was speaking at the inauguration of four facilities at the Institute.
It is a fact that, RIMS is one of the top medical institutions in the entire Northeast. So far, it has produced a cumulative total of 3,560 doctors while there are currently 547 undergraduate students at RIMS. A total of 1,968 specialist doctors have also been produced from the said institution besides having 402 postgraduate students currently.
Many of its products are manning important positions in premier medical institutions in the Northeast and the country, of which the teaching faculty has a number of super-specialists. RIMS has also recently introduced Bachelor Degree Courses in BASLP, MLT and MRIT.
As the Director said, several facilities have been successfully expanded and many modern equipment including High-end Ultrasonography machines, High-end Endoscopy System with endosonography, oxygen generators, ICU beds, Central RT PCR and Extraction Set and TrueNat have been procured. A new Tesla MRI machine was also installed during the pandemic and Liquid Oxygen Plant with a 10 KL capacity, two PSA Oxygen Plants of 1000 LPM capacity provided under PM Cares Fund have been installed in the hospital.