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Proposed budget outlay for JDWNRH could exceed ceiling

Jigme Dorji Wangchuck National Referral Hospital’s (JDWNRH) proposed budget outlay for the 12th Plan is about Nu 1.89 billion (B).

JDWNRH’s president, Lhab Dorji, said the proposal is ready but the hospital is yet to submit it to the Gross National Happiness Commission (GNHC).

Of the total outlay, about Nu 0.89B is for administration and management. For clinical, the hospital has proposed about Nu 543.9M. For the new Mother and Child Hospital and Eye Hospital, the proposed outlay is Nu 255.59M.

The hospital’s administrative officer, Tashi Phuntsho, said the cost for the administration and management is high because all the new construction projects are included in it.

The construction of the new outpatient department (OPD) block and the introduction of new services that includes joint replacement and dental implant, among others come under the clinical.

Lhab Dorji said that currently there is congestion in OPD and that the expansion is found necessary. “The hospital was designed as a referral hospital. It was not supposed to have this many OPDs.”

Every year, nearly 500,000 patients visit the various OPDs, Lhab Dorji added. “With urbanisation and rapid growth of Thimphu, we expect more patients to visit the OPDs so the expansion of the OPD has become pertinent.”

In 2016, the hospital registered a total of 497,604 patients in the various outpatient departments, while it saw 17,523 patients admitted to the hospital. The hospital saw 494,792 and 524,760 OPD patients in 2014 and 15.

Human Resource Development (HRD) is another priority in the hospital’s 12th Plan with an outlay of about Nu 200M. It includes short-term training and continuing medical educations.

Lhab Dorji said that as far as JDWNRH is concerned, whatever services the hospital is providing, it has the equipment but there is a need to improve the capacity of its human resources who deliver the services in order to improve the service quality.

“HRD is very important,” he said. “When it comes to patient care, both technology and human resource should be combined and equally competent. While technology and equipment are important, people who interpret the machines and who prescribes medicines capacity has to be also increased.”

While the proposed outlay could exceed the ceiling, Lhab Dorji said that the Prime minister has asked the GNHC to give priority to the JDWNRH. “This is because the hospital is providing services to all the people in the country.”

Dechen Tshomo

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