The Telegraph
Saturday , January 4 , 2014
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Healthcare aid for Myanmar

The Shija team performs cataract operations at the general hospital in Myanmar. File picture

Imphal, Jan. 3: Imphal’s Shija Hospitals and Research Institute is preparing a proposal to set up a speciality hospital in Myanmar on the private- public partnership model, after two successful trips to correct deformed lips and palates and eyesight.

“We plan to submit a concept paper to the authorities in Myanmar to set up a hospital there,” said Kh. Palin, the managing director of the institute, told The Telegraph.

The hospital team, led by Palin, put forward the proposal before the Myanmar authorities during their recent trips to the country under the banner of Mission Myanmar.

Palin said Manipur chief minister Okram Ibobi Singh and the Myanmar authorities had shown interest in the proposal.

The Shija team first made two trips to Myanmar in May and December last year to perform free cleft lip and palate surgeries and cataract operations respectively at the Myanmar government’s General Hospital at Monywa, the capital of Sagaing Region.

In the first trip, the Shija team had corrected deformed lips and palates of 87 patients free of cost and in the second trip, another team of the hospital performed 178 surgeries to restore eyesight.

The team will make its third trip to Myanmar in April this year to continue its Smile Train Project to correct deformed lips and palates.

Palin said healthcare facilities were lacking in Myanmar. Hence, the neighbouring country appreciated the hospital team’s trips.

He said for serious operations, patients in Myanmar had to go to Singapore or Thailand, which is very expensive. A patient spends at least Rs 4 lakh for treatment in Singapore or Thailand.

“Manipur is closer to Myanmar. Manipur can provide the resources and quality healthcare if a non-government organisation can run a hospital in Myanmar. We are ready to extend all possible help,” Palin said.

In the initial stage, a 100-bed hospital can be constructed on a 50-acre plot, he said.

The Shija team dreams of making Manipur a destination for health tourism, one the lines of Bangkok’s Bumrungrad International Hospital, one of the top 10 hospitals in the world.

Shija has already created a name in eastern India with latest healthcare facilities and a modern blood bank.

Patients from Myanmar come regularly to Shija for treatment.

Realising the potential of developing health tourism in the state, Ibobi Singh has been giving full support to the trips and proposals by the hospital.