Crores have been spent on equipments that still await qualified handlers. Purchases have been made at prices inflated more than double the MRP, and chairs have been procured even before its operations and operators are not yet ready. These are the uncomfortable yet deniable truth that has been unearthed due to the diligence and unwavering spirit of the journalistic fraternity of the state. The story of the Regional Institute of Medical Sciences (RIMS), regarded as one of the premier medical institutions in the North eastern region of the country and the pride of Manipur have so far been a mixed bag of emotions as far as the ‘common man’ is concerned- the majority of the public who sought treatment and cure for their myriad ailments and sufferings. A number of private hospitals with specialized staffs and state-of-the-art treatment facilities have been established and are doing brisk business, but RIMS has remained the preferred destination for a majority of the people seeking respite from their ailments because of the affordable cost of treatment. But scratch the surface and almost everyone who have had the unfortunate and harrowing experience of being hospitalized at the premier medical institution have a disappointing experience to narrate.
Stories of inadequacy, negligence and inefficiency abound, and the repeated report of misappropriation of funds during the procurement of equipments for the Dental College is but a tip of the iceberg as far as mismanagement and abusive administration is concerned. The systemic rot and the institutionalized corrupt practices right from securing a special ward to according preferential treatment for the patients, not to mention the nexus between the touts peddling medicines for a commission and the medical staff recommending particular chemists for these medicines is mind boggling to put it mildly, to the point where one starts wondering if the whole setup is for benefitting from the unfortunate patients seeking some respite from their sufferings.
For those privileged lot who can afford the medical bill and charges of the private clinics and hospitals, the travails of the common man might appear to be just a section in the newspapers, but for those who are struggling to save the lives of their loved ones the efforts are all too overpowering. And despite repeated reports and complaints, the sad story continues.
Enquiries and investigations are all very heartwarming and welcome, but the real meaning of the proposed fight against corruption spearheaded by the Biren-led BJP government will come to light when those responsible for the rot and decay in the effort to alleviate pain and suffering of the common public and the declared agenda of improving the healthcare of the common people are brought to book in an exemplary manner.
William Gurumayum, Sub-Editor of Imphal Times is a resident of Sagolband Salam Leikai. He has been with Imphal Times since beginning. He also looks after the website and application of Imphal Times. An avid adventure lover, writes mostly travelogue.