NEIGRIHMS is an Autonomous Institute established by Government of India in 1987 under the Meghalaya Registration of Societies Act 1983. The then Prime Minister Late Rajiv Gandhi dedicated the Institute to the memory of Late Indira Gandhi, former Prime Minister for her commitment to the welfare and affection for the people of North Eastern Region. 
It has now been designed as a Postgraduate Medical Institute in the lineage of AIIMS, New Delhi and PGIMER, Chandigarh. NEIGRIHMS has been the First and the only Postgraduate Medical Institute in the North Eastern Region and third in the country established by Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India.
The Hon'ble Prime Minister Shri Atal Behari Vajpayee declared NEIGRIHMS as a National Institute on 22nd January 2000 when he visited Shillong. NEIGRIHMS has also been included in the Prime Minister's Package for North East in March 1997. The total cost estimate of the Institute has been projected at Rs.422.60 crores. The progress and the development of the Institute have been keenly monitored by the PMO. The Action Plan of the Institute has been submitted to the PMO. The Planning Committee headed by the Secretary Health, Government of India, shall also monitor the Development of the Institute.
North Eastern Region has got a population of 38.49 millions (as per 2001 Census) in an area of more than 2.6 lakhs of square kilometers served by 386 hospitals with bed strength of 20620 (Ratio 1:1518, National 1:1412). The doctors' population Ratio in North East is deficient (e.g. Meghalaya 1:4758, National 1:2083). There is 50% overall deficiency in medical manpower and much more (60%) in total health sector. Compared with National norms there has been acute shortage of both health infrastructure and manpower in the Region. Although there are four Medical Colleges in Assam and Manipur, it will be just sufficient to produce the required medical graduates. However, the Region is highly deficient in manpower in Specialties. NEIGRIHMS has been identified as the necessary fillip to make up the deficiency zone in Human Health Resources.