Appointment overload at JDWNRH

Most of the patients at the Jigme Dorji Wangchuck National Referral Hospital (JDWNRH) are generally appreciative of the assistance they receive from the health workers. However, a significant number of individuals seeking services, such as Computed Tomography Scan (CT scan), Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI), and ultrasound are expressing frustration over extensive waiting times to seek an appointment.

One patient, who arrived early in the morning with her child for an ultrasound appointment shared, “I came early in the morning with my child as soon as the hospital was opened, and it’s already noon, and I still did not get my appointment.”

Similarly, another patient’s son waiting for a MRI said, “I sought an appointment for my mother in January despite my mother being seriously ill, and in need of urgent medical attention earlier in the year, she got her appointment only during the month of February.”

Tragically another patient at the CT scan shared, “Not everyone seems very serious at first, however, some patients’ health worsens in a few days which is risky as well. My father had to wait for the appointment for a month, and he passed away even before he got near the date of his appointment. Thankfully, we had him checked at the private hospital which was much quicker, but not everyone can afford it.”

In response, one of the health workers of JDWNRH explained the delays in scheduling appointments for imaging procedures. He commented, “Firstly, the patients are carefully examined to determine if they are suitable for the scanning, as unchecked procedures could potentially harm the kidneys.”

Furthermore, he said, “Appointments are given until 3 pm and it is not allocated on a first-come, first-served basis, and the patients will not get an appointment in one day, it will take months and even years as there are many people in the waiting list. I don’t think that it will take that much time in CT compared to MRI as there’s only one machine in MRI for thousands of patients.”

The health worker acknowledged the overwhelming demand for these services at JDWNRH, citing a limited number of machines available to serve a large patient population, thus, this limited resource results in an extensive waiting list and delays in seeking appointments.

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