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Centre to increase 50 more MBBS seats at NEIGHRIHMS: MOS

SHILLONG: In a significant stride towards enhancing medical education and healthcare provisions, Union Minister of State for Health & Family Welfare, Dr. Bharati Pravin Pawar, announced on August 24th the government’s decision to augment the number of MBBS seats by an additional 50 at the North Eastern Indira Gandhi Regional Institute of Health and Medical Sciences (NEIGRIHMS). Dr. Bharati also pledged the Centre’s comprehensive support to Meghalaya for establishing its own medical colleges.

During her visit to NEIGRIHMS to assess various activities of the super-speciality institute, Dr. Bharati revealed, “From next year, we are going to increase the number of seats by 50, making it a total of 100 seats at NEIGRIHMS.”

She elucidated that the Centre has consistently allocated a budget of around Rs 600 crore to NEIGRIHMS for the development of the medical college and nursing college. Over the last 9 to 10 years, the Central government has been steadfastly focused on fortifying tertiary care, spanning primary and secondary levels, in line with the Prime Minister’s vision to strengthen the healthcare ecosystem through government initiatives.

The Minister of State highlighted the upward trajectory of financial support provided to NEIGRIHMS, stating, “Last year, the budget was Rs 480 crore, and this year, it has been increased to Rs 528 crore. This continuous increment reflects our commitment to bolstering healthcare infrastructure.”

Commending NEIGRIHMS for its achievements, including radiotherapy treatments, Dr. Bharati Pravin Pawar also emphasized the government’s dedication to support Meghalaya’s pursuit of establishing its own medical colleges. She stated, “The government is definitely going to support the medical college, and we are simultaneously strengthening NEIGRIHMS. We will provide support for the next medical college as well.”

Addressing the implementation of the National Health Mission (NHM) in Meghalaya, Dr. Bharati informed that the Central government has sanctioned a budget of approximately Rs 600 crore this year, with a funding pattern of 90:10. Moreover, in response to the COVID-19 emergency, the Centre allocated Rs 25 lakh from Meghalaya for the ECRP-1 (Emergency COVID Relief Package) and Rs 117 crore for ECRP-2.

For the enhancement of sub-centres and health and wellness centres, the Central government has allotted Rs 150 crore for Meghalaya as part of the 15th Finance budget. Dr. Bharati underscored the importance of preparedness and prevention for future pandemics, aligning with the Prime Minister’s vision, and emphasized the need to be ready for such challenges.

Furthermore, the Minister of State disclosed that a budget of about Rs 64,000 has been sanctioned under the PM Ayushman Bharat Health Infrastructure Mission for the entire country, with an allocation of Rs 150 crore for Meghalaya over the next four years. Presently, nearly 470 health and wellness centres are operational in Meghalaya, serving as hubs for screenings, treatments, and healthcare initiatives. These centres are instrumental in primary screening for conditions such as hypertension, diabetes, cancer detection (including oral and cervical cancers), and more.

Dr. Bharati congratulated the Meghalaya government for its strides in teleconsultation, with nearly one lakh teleconsultations conducted, and acknowledged the state’s commendable efforts in reducing maternal mortality rates and infant mortality rates. Expressing gratitude for the Chief Minister’s proactive healthcare initiatives, she assured ongoing support from the Prime Minister and the Central government for the northeastern states.

As her visit continued, Dr. Bharati Pravin Pawar revealed plans to visit the aspirational East Jaintia Hills district, underscoring the government’s commitment to holistic healthcare development across the region.

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