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Manipur to become healthcare hub of South East Asia
Manipur has the potential to become the healthcare hub of South-East Asian region in near future. Health sector will surely help to improve the political, emotional and economic ties between India and its neighbouring countries.

With the opening up of the proposed Trans-Asian highways and implementation of the Look East Policy, the state government must prepare itself to meet the requirements of the region. The public hospitals need to dwell on quality healthcare, while private institutes of the state require government’s special encouragement.

Healthcare service in Manipur is strategically significant for establishing healthy political and emotional relations between India and its neighbours. Quality healthcare available in Manipur has obviously attracted the neighboring South-East Asian countries, particularly Myanmar. A strong delegation from Myanmar visited the state and inspected the health facilities available at the Shija Hospitals and Research Institute (SHRI), the Regional Institute of Medical Sciences (RIMS), the Jawaharlal Nehru Institute of Medical Sciences (JNIMS) and the Babina Diagnostic Center to get acquainted with the healthcare potential of the state.

During the visit, Power Minister of Sagaing Region, U Kyaw Win expressed acknowledgement of the services rendered by the Shija Hospitals and Research Institute for the welfare of the citizens of Myanmar and expressed his appreciation for its dedicated efforts.

Worried at the pathetic healthcare services in neighboring Myanmar, the Managing Director of Shija Hospitals and Research Institute, Dr Kh Palin assured the delegation that his institute would launch the Smile Train Shija Cleft Project in Myanmar for the benefit of its citizens who suffered from cleft lip and palate defects. He disclosed the plans for providing free cleft and palate treatment, providing accommodation for patients and their caretakers from Myanmar at his hospital campus and setting up of Shija Information Technology in various towns of Myanmar to facilitate transportation, information and logistic support.

Dr Palin also appealed to the Manipur Government for easing the entry procedures of Myanmar patients into the state. He sought the government’s help in setting up a Public Private Partnership (PPP) model hospital at Moreh for providing better health-care to the people in Myanmar.

Health is the most precious possession of human beings. Next to food, clothing and shelter, healthcare has become the fourth basic necessity of life. With the change in lifestyles, food habits and environment all over the world nowadays, a host of new ailments have emerged in the human body. Here, cost effectiveness coupled with quality services have become the main criteria for making a choice of institutions for seeking healthcare services.

Among the South East Asian countries, like Myanmar, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam; India is regarded by many as a suitable place for healthcare and treatment. Considering the affordability of cost, quality services and location, Manipur in North East India bordering Myanmar has all the potentials for becoming a healthcare hub of South East Asia region. Still, patients from Southeast Asian countries, particularly Myanmar and other Indian states come to Manipur for seeking healthcare services and treatment of specific ailments at institutes like the Shija Hospitals and Research Institute.

In terms of location, Manipur lies at the centre of the South East Asian region with facilities for road communication with countries like Myanmar, Cambodia, Vietnam and Thailand. The opening up of the proposed Trans-Asian highways and implementation of the Look East Policy, inflow of people from other South East Asian countries to Manipur for healthcare and treatment will surely increase. Regarding cost of treatment, health services available in Manipur are more affordable as compared to European countries, China, Japan, Singapore etc. Affordability and transportation factors will be the added criteria for Manipur’s being a healthcare hub of the region.

Besides the two premier hospitals (i.e. RIMS and JNIMS) of Manipur, the Shija Hospitals and Research Institute (SHRI) in Imphal is renowned for providing world class quality healthcare. Both legally or illegally, a number of patients from across the border frequent Manipur and seek treatment at SHRI. Shija Hospitals and Research Institute has carved a niche of its own in the field of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery. Intensive care services at this Institute are highly advanced and appreciated for satisfaction of service delivery.

Among the numerous landmarks achieved by the SHRI, the establishment of an advanced cardiac care centre christened as “Shija Heart Beat” for the convenience of cardiovascular patients of the region is worth to be mentioned. Well experienced cardiologists and trained technicians man the centre. ‘Cath Lab system’, for handling wide range of cardiac procedures has also been installed at this Institute. SHRI has successfully performed a number of corrective surgeries in patients with Cleft Lip and Palate under the Smile Train Shija Cleft project since June 2006.

Recently, Shija Blood Bank and Transfusion Services has been installed at the Institute to end the scarcity of blood for needy patients. The PCR (Polymerase Chain Reaction) machine for screening of HIV has been installed at the Institute to facilitate HIV detection even during window period of infection. In the field of dermatology and cosmetic care, Shija Laser and Cosmetic centre is providing quality services to many patients with up-to-date technology. Besides opening training institutes for nurses etc., it is also providing employment to a number of doctors, nurses, technicians etc. Many serious and emergency cases are frequently referred to this hospital for treatment. With almost all aspects of healthcare being provided with world class quality, SHRI is regarded as having the potential to become the best healthcare institute in the region, thereby making Manipur a healthcare hub of the region in the near future.

Editorial NOTE: This article is categorized under Opinion Section. The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of In case you have a opposing view, please click here to share the same in the comments section.
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