NEIGRIHMS Director Vs Governing Council: “I was made a scapegoat”, says Dr Thappa

NEIGRIHMS Director Vs Governing Council: “I was made a scapegoat”, says Dr Thappa

By Lamphrang Nongspung | SHILLONG | Oct 21, 2019:

The Director of NEIGRIHMS, Dr DM Thappa is unwilling to give up without a fight. Days after the Governing Council decided to remove him as the Director of the premier health institute, the incumbent chief said that the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare should conduct an inquiry to find out on the illegalities which are taking place in the institute.

Annoyed by the decision of the Governing Council to 'unceremoniously' remove him, NEIGRIHMS director, Dr. D.M. Thappa said "The Ministry should visit the institute and conduct a proper inquiry. The truth should come out. The principal of justice should be applied," Dr Thappa said while speaking to the The Northeast Today on Sunday.

Meanwhile, Dr Thappa also said that he was disappointed since it "looks like the whole Governing Council members are up against him."


Dr Thappa claimed that he had been told to complete his presentation on the 175 slides which he had prepared within ten minutes during the Governing Council meeting adding that it was impossible since it would need a minimum of one hour to complete the presentation.

"It seems there is some pre-determined plan to oust the current director. I came to learn there was one secret note which was placed before the Governing Council members. I was asked to sit outside since the members of the Governing Council were discussing on my case. If they are deciding on my faith then they should have been informed on the reasons for removing me. Even if they have informed about the reasons then they should give me an opportunity to explain," he said adding that they cannot remove a director of an institute without giving other side an opportunity to present his case.

NEIGRIHMS Director, Dr DM Thappa

NEIGRIHMS director said that he just wanted to know about the secret note which they have circulated during the Governing Council meeting.

"I should be able to reply to the secretive note items. You can't remove a peon, a clerk or a director appointed by a Cabinet committee. The Governing Council is an advisory body and should not act without understanding about the ground reality," Dr. Thappa said.


Meghalaya Health Minister, AL Hek has earlier stated that the reason why the governing council decided to sack the director was because he had not convened a meeting either of the administration or the faculties in the past two years.

"We had been following on the performance of the director for the past two years. This is not a recent development. He had not called a single meeting to review the overall functioning of the institute in the past two years. It was due to this reason that he had been asked to table his resignation," Hek had said.

The decision to remove the director was taken in the best interest of the institute, said Hek

Meghalaya Health Minister, AL Hek


Informing that he will be seeking for the unedited video recording of the Governing Council meeting, Dr Thappa said that he was informed in the meeting that all the members are against him.

"I told the members I wanted to give my reply and clarification. But instead they told me that they do not want to listen. I am also not very sure whether I will be provided with the unedited video recording since I am up against my bosses," NEIGRIHMS director said. 


Meanwhile, he alleged that Meghalaya Health and Family Welfare, Alexander Laloo Hek and the local members in the Governing Council from Meghalaya have only one point agenda to remove the director while claiming that he had got hold of one of the corrupt person here who is indulging in 'mal-practices'. 

According to Dr Thappa, he (Hek), during the Governing Council meeting, had only uttered one word that NEIGRIHMS is in shambles under the current director. 

Dr. Thappa alleged that everyone are backing up a person who is bringing the surgery equipment from the pharmaceuticals companies located outside the institute.

"On April 30 this year, he was caught. I have conducted a preliminary inquiry and everything was filed to the vigilance commission and to the Ministry. But surprisingly they are not taking any action against the concerned individual. And to safeguard him, they are making me a scapegoat. I have become a victim of trying to correct the mal-practices in the hospital," Dr Thappa said.

Referring to the vigilance awareness talked about by the Ministry, he said, "if is the kind of vigilance awareness they are talking about then, it is better for me to leave this place. What I wanted is an honourable exit. Today if I get the order of release from this institute. The next day I will leave. But I do want to go out in this manner; it's like throwing me in the dustbin," NEIGRHIMS director said.


There is an FIR being filed by the proprietor of Sanju Pharmaceuticals against the director at Rynjah police station and another complaint which the proprietor had filed before the Meghalaya State Commission for Women.

He informed that he had approached the Meghalaya High Court on the two complaints lodged by the proprietor of Sanju Pharmaceuticals and now the hearing is going on.

"She (the proprietor) is accusing me that I have captured her equipment and I wanted to have physical relationship. She had also accused me of demanding commission. The equipment were caught by the vigilance officer and director has no role to play. I have only directed the vigilance officer to look into what is going," he said adding that he tried to take corrective measures to ensure that there are no complaints from the patients.

"The patients are complaining that they are being overcharged. The equipment which are being purchased from Sanju Pharmaceuticals are available at a much cheaper price in the Amrit Pharmacy. The prices are cheaper by Rs 10,000 to Rs 15,000. The patients would have been greatly benefited. My only objective is to streamline the system and overall functioning of NEIGRIHMS. It is shameful that a Minister and the politicians are trying to interfere in the working of the Central institute. They are trying to turn NEIGRIHMS into a play ground/fighting pit between the director and a cardiologist," Dr. Thappa alleged.

It may be mentioned that the institute director and the Cardiology department have been engaged in a constant tug of war over the issue.

NEIGRIHMS director, DM Thappa and Cardio Head, Dr A Mishra

He also questioned that if there are 28 departments then why only one department and one faculty of the department has a problem with his style of functioning.


Talking about his achievements during his tenure, he said there were only six PG departments when he had joined adding that he managed to add another six PG departments during his tenure.

"We will be completing the under graduate medical college, regional council centre and expansion of the nursing college," he said.

Dr Thappa, however, informed that the Ministry is holding many of the creation of posts for the under-graduate medical college. They want me to double the MBBS seats. How can I double the MBBS seats when the Ministry is not giving sanction to the faculty and the non-faculty posts. How can we increase the seats when there are no hostel facilities for the students. We do not have hostel facilities even for the nursing students. The Ministry should take pro-active steps in the overall development of NEIGRIHMS. They should not only do lip service," he said.


Dr Thappa questioned, "Even if I leave this place, Will the problem of NEIGRIHMS will be solved? Whether the infrastructure will improve or the MBBS and Nursing seats will increase.""

"How can regional council centre with 250 beds function if the post of faculties are not sanctioned. This projects needs to be completed by 2020. We have not got the approval of creation of new posts," he added.

He also observed that even if there is an approval, the recruitment process will take between six months to one year. "We are aware that getting the faculties' members to this place is so difficult," Dr Thappa said.

Dr Thappa will be retiring from service in 2026. "I have already completed two and half years of my tenure as the director of NEIGRIHMS. I still have another two and half years to complete my term. But now anytime soon, I would have to go," he added.

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