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Manipur HC asks RIMS to respond to complaints about facilities

The Manipur High Court has directed the Regional Institute of Medical Sciences (RIMS), Imphal to file an affidavit by December 20 after a post graduate student wrote to the Prime Minister complaining about malfunctioning of equipment and alleged denial of basic healthcare facilities, including medicines, to people.

The directive was passed on Friday by a division bench comprising Justice N. Koteswor, acting Chief Justice, and Justice Kh. Nobin, after a report was submitted on the issue by a committee constituted by the High Court.

The High Court took up a suo moto case in this regard since it concerned the basic healthcare system. On December 12, the High Court had directed the RIMS authority to submit the affidavit by December 15, which it failed to do. The deadline was then extended.

The three-member committee conducted spot inquiries and found that the MRI equipment was non-functional for more than four months and so was the condition of many other equipment. Sources said that though the Union Health Ministry had sanctioned necessary funds, all construction works, including in the imposing OPD complex, were suspended or abandoned.

Established in 1972 for students of the eight northeastern states, RIMS has been in a sorry condition. There has been no regular Director for more than three years. Though the Health Ministry had held an interview for the appointment of a regular Director, the result was withheld and one person was made the stop-gap Director for six months.

The interns of RIMS Dental College have been on strike from Thursday demanding payment of stipend. They were threatening to shut OPD also.

College officials said that though the RIMS authority had given orders against private practice, most of the RIMS doctors were engaged almost full time in private hospitals that have mushroomed near RIMS. RIMS is a leading hospital for people in northeastern states. T. Sema, a patient from Nagaland said, “It is not expensive. Besides we face no language barrier as there are students and staff from all northeast states in RIMS.”