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The Centre has asked the North Eastern Indira Gandhi Regional Institute of Health and Medical Sciences (NEIGHRIMS) here to submit a proposal for air ambulance. "The institute has been asked to prepare a proposal for having air ambulance services in the region," NEIGRIHMS director Dr DM Thappa told PTI. He said NEIGRIHMS would act as a nodal point for air ambulance dispensary system whose services can reach out to the far flung areas of the region. The NEIGRIHMS director said patients in medical emergencies can be brought to the institute for treatment besides medical samples of patients can also be collected for investigation at the super speciality hospital. Thappa further said that the institute is proposing to involve the RIIMS Imphal to take care in respect of states like Nagaland and Mizoram while NEIGRIHMS will look after Meghalaya, Arunachal Pradesh and Tripura. Informing that the state government's role is also important, he said that the Centre is also emphasising the need for the medical team of the state government to be part of the process. Accordingly, the helicopter would also be required to be equipped with medical facilities, he said. The construction of the Regional Cancer Centre, the Medical College Building, the Hostel and the Nursing College is on at the institute premises at a cost of Rs 280 crore. Established in 1987 and declared an 'Institute of National Importance' by Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee in 2000, the institute was also declared as an "Institution of Excellence" by an Act of Parliament in 2007, the only Medical Institute that has been given such a status in the country. The institute was set up with an aim to provide training and fill the vast gap of doctor - population ratio.
This ratio is 1:5000 as compared to the national average of 1:2000 where a population of about 40 million is covered by only about 400 hospitals.