The Dagapela hospital, which is the dzongkhag hospital for Dagana, did not have any doctors for the last two months, leaving people frustrated with delayed medical services.
The hospital is a referral point for about nine basic health units (BHUs) in the dzongkhag.
Some local leaders raised the issue but no one submitted any formal complaints.
A patient, Tshering Ngedup, said the hospital has many chambers and medical consultation rooms, but that there was only one clinical officer. “He tries to attend to all patients but he is overburdened.”
He said elderly people and children had difficult time as they had to wait for long hours. “Although medical services are provided, people are frustrated as their works get affected.”
About 21 cases were referred to the referral hospitals in Gelephu and Thimphu in a month, according to the records maintained with the hospital.
The 20-bedded hospital is equipped with facilities such as X-rays, pharmacy unit, eye unit, dental unit, laboratory unit, indigenous unit, ultrasound unit, physio and ortho units, and diabetic unit.
It has a total of about 39 clinical staff including 14 nurses.
Dagana residents said they cannot even avail a medical certificate from the hospital and travel to other hospitals as only doctors have the authority to approve it.
The dzongkhag’s senior health officer, Dorji Wangchuk, said that the dzongkhag had reported about the situation to the headquarters.
He said the hospital had two doctors until April. “A female doctor left because of her health conditions by May end and the other doctor left for higher studies at Khesar Gyalpo University of Medical Sciences of Bhutan.”
Dorji Wangchuk said that although the hospital should have two doctors, both doctors had to leave for genuine reasons. “The ministry acknowledged the issue and assured a doctor would be deputed as soon as possible.”
He said the dzongkhag deputed Drujeygang BHU’s clinical officer on a temporary duty at the hospital from July 8.
Goshi gup, Tandin, said they discussed the matter in the gewog tshogde held on August 5, as people complained they were affected by the lack of doctors.
One of the staff at Dagapela hospital, Lal Bdr Tamang, said that although there were more than a hundred patients in the out-patient department, the clinical officer has been managing and treating patients well in the absence of doctors.
Meanwhile, there is no doctor in Dagana BHU grade I also for the last one month.
It was learnt that the doctor went on medical leave for a week initially and extended it due to the seriousness of the illness.
Rinchen Zangmo | Dagana