Shillong Sept 12: Meghalaya Health Minister, A L Hek on Thursday said that he had proposed the Central government to institute a high level inquiry committee (HLIC) to inquire into the deficiency of health services which arose out of the tussle between the Director of NEIGRIHMS director, DM Thappa and head of the cardiology department, A. Mishra.
Hek informed this in Assembly on Thursday while giving a reply to a short discussion initiated by Independent MLA from Mawphlang, S.K. Sun with reference to the tussle between Thappa and Mishra which allegedly led to the death of a woman in NEIGRIHMS who was the heart patient in absence of equipment for treatment on May 5 this year.
Sun while highlighting the deficiencies and the stalemate that has affected the functioning of the particular department in NEIGRIHMS, said that if other North Eastern states have much stake to ensure that NEIGRIHMS flourishes, the Meghalaya government has much bigger role to play in this matter since the Institute is at a stone’s throw away from the State capital and the people of the State stand to benefit more from the services that the Institute provides.
On the tussle between the Director and the Head of Department of Cardiology, Sun said, “The medical fraternity, teachers, students, administrative staff and the civil society around where the institution is built, and who are the stake holders, have expressed that it would be wrong of any Director to think that the people of Meghalaya and of Shillong in particular do not have a say in what is going on at NEIGRIHMS and in calling upon the ruling Government not to allow NEIGRIHMS to wither away.”
Other MLAs who also joined the discussion lauded the government for setting up NEIGRIHMS at Mawdiangdiang, also sought the intervention of the state and the Centre to further improve the health delivery services for the benefit of the people especially the poor families.
In his reply, Hek said that on the death of the heart patient in cardiology department of NEIGRIHMS, the state government had taken a serious note of the situation and he had personally taken up the matter with the former Union Health Minister, JP Nadda even before the unfortunate incident on May 3 urging him to immediately intervene the situation of crisis and chaos in NEIGRIHMS.
He said that he along with the Chief Minister, Conrad K Sangma had also met Nadda in New Delhi and apprised him of the state of affairs in NEIGRHMS.
According to Hek, the CBI has also conducted searches in NEIGRIHMS on August 30 and it has been understood that some documents have been seized. “We are waiting for further reports on the matter,” Hek said while assuring the House that the situation is under close watch by the state.
Hek said that there were many claims and counter claims and several reports from the Director and HOD Cardiology for all problems and incidents that took place in NEIGRHMS.
“Therefore, I have requested the Chief Minister to propose to the Government of India to institute the high level inquiry committee which will include the representatives from the state (senior level officer, IAS), senior office from the Central government and one or two technical experts from any big institute like AIIMES, Delhi, GB Pant, Delhi/Medanta Hospital for free and fair inquiry to resolve the issue and safe NEIGRIHMS hospital,” Hek said.