Jigme Dorji Wangchuck National Referral Hospital (JDWNRH) is an apex hospital where patients from different dzongkhags visit the hospital, and the patient load has been increasing over the period of time, whereby affecting the healthcare services.
In addition, specialists, doctors, and nurses are engaged in other health programs has created a backlog. Therefore, patients are given less attention and focused care.
Forensic Medical Specialist and the Officiating Medical Superintendent of JDWNRH, Dr Norbu, said JDWNRH’s health services are often interrupted due to some health programs, but the hospital is adjusting when doctors and nurses are engaged or sent out for such health campaigns in other dzongkhags.
Dr Norbu said a few doctors and specialists are teaching at Khesar Gyalpo University of Medical Sciences of Bhutan (KGUMSB), but as per their own understanding, they will be only teaching before 9 am and after 3 pm.
Since doctors and specialists are the employees of the JDWNRH, they will have to be in their chambers from 9 am to 3 pm. So, with this, there should not be any problem in providing the required medical services. So far, there have not been any complaints from the patient’s side as well, said Dr Norbu.
Many doctors and specialists are engaged in the endoscopy campaign, but the hospital makes sure that they are not engaged during their working days. So, they go during the weekends.
Furthermore, doctors and nurses are also engaged in surgery camps. Dr Norbu shared that due to limited beds in the hospital, the hospital is listing patients and sending them to Wangdue for ENT surgery.
However, all the complex surgeries that might require ICU backup will be done in JDWNRH.
Dr Norbu said, “The expenditure is high in conducting ENT surgery in camping mode, but still then it will benefit patients, and they don’t have to wait long for their surgery. There are many patients waiting for ENT surgery, so to clear all the backlog of patients waiting, JDWNRH is doing so.”
Another issue is there are only four gynecologists in JDWNRH, and they are engaged in the cervical cancer flagship program, so there is some backlog of patients as JDWNRH is unable to provide the service.
There is a shortage of health staff in the hospital. For instance, in the nursing department, there is a shortage of nurses. When the Gidakom TB ward was full then JDWNRH had to build a TB ward and there were no nurses. Still then, the hospital managed to mobilize nurses in the TB ward.
Dialysis is now introduced in Paro and Samtse, so in the beginning, support from nurses from JDWNRH was needed, which led to a shortage of nurses in JDWNRH. But still, then the introduction of dialysis has lessened the number of dialysis patients coming to Thimphu. So ultimately, in the long run, it is going to benefit all, Dr Norbu pointed out.
Apart from that, when doctors are not in their chambers that means they are engaged in patient care and treatment in other dzongkhags, said Dr Norbu.