The locals of Wangdue Phodrang are looking forward to the completion of the 40-bed ultramodern hospital in the region, which was supposed to be completed in March last year.
The new hospital is located on a hill in Jatshokha village under Rinchengang, several kilometres away from Bajo town.
Construction work was supposed to start in 2013 but was moved to following year after numerous issues popped up. The Managing Director of Punatsangchhu-I & II Hydroelectric Project Authority, R.N. Khazanchi, said there was delay in land demarcation along with some issues related to environmental clearance. After that they had to shift the 33kV Bhutan Power Corporation transmission line, which were crossing over the proposed location site.
“There was also delay in finalisation of drawings which required approval from several concerned ministries and departments from time to time,” Khazanchi said. “We even had to relocate the hospital to accommodate an approach road and parking facilities and had to make some changes in the architectural drawing because they noted a drain passing through the intended location.”
The other reason for delay was the poor soil strata that required construction of a 300 metre long and 8 metre high concrete walls. Construction works were also affected by high winds at the site.
R.N. Khazanchi said the hospital in general covers all the facilities of any ultra modern hospital as per the requirement of Ministry of Health. “The hospital complex including its residential colony and other works is about Nu 630 million, which includes Nu. 293 million as the cost of the 40-bed hospital.”
The ultra modern hospital is expected to have designated trauma centers since most of the accidents happen along the highways. It has been strategically located along the highways to help victims of accidents.
The hospital will also have emergency surgical facilities, Emergency Obstetric Care, and provide other essential surgical facilities.
“The hospital will not only benefit the residents of Wangdue but will also benefit people from nearby dzongkhags like Gasa, Tsirang and Punakha,” said Dorji Tshering,the Medical Officer Incharge at Bajo hospital. With no gynecologist at present in the dzongkhag, one gynecologist and a surgical specialist will also be arranged in the new hospital.
The hospital’s colony with 69-unit residential complex meant for the health workers in Bajo hospital has been completed and are now occupied.
The project is being jointly financed by the Government of India and the Government of Bhutan with 40% grant from the former and rest 60% on loan.
Although the hospital was supposed to have been completed on March last year, it is now expected to be complete by the end of this year. It is expected that hospital will partially be made operative by end of this year.