Three more CT scan machines by 2018

The Japanese government has agreed to donate three Computed Tomography (CT) Scan machines, which will be brought into the country by the beginning of 2018.

Of the three machines, the one with 64 slices will be installed in Jigme Dorji Wangchuck National Referral Hospital (JDWNRH). The other two machines of 16 slices will be installed at the Regional Referral Hospitals in Gelephu and Mongar.

There is only one CT Scan machine in the country, which has been in operation for the past decade, surpassing the 10-year functional limit issued by the manufacturer.

With the additional three new machines, the service of CT scan is expected to reduce the waiting time for the patients which is currently quite long.

The Medical Superintendent of JDWNRH, Dr Gosar Pemba, said with only one machine in a country, the average waiting time for each patient is designed to be ten days which sometimes would go beyond a week due to break downs.

The current machine has been undergoing constant maintenances for the past few years.  He said the machine breaks down at least four to five times a year.

Similarly, the only MRI machine in a country has been plagued by frequent breakdowns. However, Dr. Gosar said the MRI machine is expensive and the hospital can’t afford to buy one so they are continuing to use it by doing maintenance.

The number of patients who have undergone CT scan has increased from 3,753 in 2014 to 5,165 in 2016. The patients include both emergency and elective patients.

CT scan is done in many emergency cases such as for operations, bone fracture, cancer detection and chest imaging. Dr. Gosar said the cost for each machine would be about Nu 40 million excluding the charge for shipping and installation.

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