Union health minister inaugurates Nagaland's first medical college

Kohima: Nagaland Institute of Medical Sciences and Research (NIMSR), the state’s first medical college, was officially inaugurated by Union health minister Dr. Mansukh L Mandaviya on Saturday.

The first batch of 100 MBBS students, including 85 from Nagaland and 15 from Rajasthan, Jharkhand, Bihar, Haryana, Kerala Madhya Pradesh and Manipur, commenced classes on September 1. 

Addressing the gathering, Mandaviya said that the medical college and research institute will not only provide medical education and opportunities related to it but will largely benefit the people of Nagaland through new researches and medical proficiency.

He observed that specimens in the state can be researched and local health issues can be addressed accordingly. 

Nagaland, he said, is a land of opportunities. He recalled his visit to the state five years ago and shared how he was captivated by the beauty of the state and the vibrant culture of the Naga tribes. 

Citing the Hornbill festival, Mandaviya praised how Nagaland is preserving its culture and tradition in the form of a festival. 

As he formally inaugurated the medical college, he assured of the Centre’s support to the state government to ensure health accessibility and affordability in the state. 

He concluded by remarking that for India, providing healthcare is not commercial but a service to the people of the nation.

Nagaland chief minister Neiphiu Rio shared how the state’s dream to have a medical college has come true after 60 years of statehood. 

Rio hoped that the medical college will grow to become a centre of excellence. Despite being one of the oldest states in the North East, he said that there is no regional or national institute in the state, particularly in the higher education sector. 

Due to this reason, he said that there is a one-way traffic where students go out of the state for higher studies. He expressed his contentment as 15 MBBS seats were allotted for all-India students, bringing in students from outside the state to receive higher education in the state. 

With the presence of insurgency and the implementation of the draconian Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act (AFSPA), he said that there are still many people who are hesitant to visit the state. 

In this regard, he pointed out that Nagaland has the least number of crimes and is rated as the safest state for women in comparison to states across the country.

Nagaland health minister Paiwang Konyak expressed confidence that with the inauguration of the college, healthcare delivery system in the state will be enhanced, by offering quality education to medical professionals, conducting research and providing specialised care to patients.

The college, he said, will also provide a platform for medical research facilities and capacity building besides medical education. 

“Nagaland has a ratio of 5386 persons per doctor, which is one of the lowest in the country and as on date, there is acute shortage of doctors and we were also deeply confronted during the COVID-19 pandemic,” he said.

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He hoped that the number of MBBS seats would increase in the coming years, making affordable medical education available and mitigate the shortage of doctors in the state and country as well.

He informed that in 2013-14, a DPR was submitted to establish a medical college in Nagaland. “We received approval with grant of 189 crores and permission to establish the first State run Medical College with 100 MBBS seats in Kohima. And finally, with the approval of National Medical Council, formal classes have commenced since 1st September 2023 with the first batch of 100 students,” he added.

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