At-home collection of blood samples for elderly citizens from August 2022 for better care of elderly

An initiative to collect blood samples from home for senior citizens aged 70 years or above  will be piloted from August 1, 2022 in Thimphu.

The initiative stems from Royal Command granted to the Kidu Mobile Medical Unit (KMMU) to assist our national healthcare system in taking some healthcare services to the homes of elderly citizens, so that they need not visit the hospital multiple times.

KMMU has partnered with the Elderly Care Programme of the Ministry of Health and the Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine at the Jigme Dorji Wangchuck National Referral Hospital (JDWNRH) for the pilot, in which elderly citizens required to give blood samples for testing may do so from their own homes.

Blood tests are the most commonly prescribed among follow-up tests, and often require the patients to visit the hospital multiple times. With the new initiative, patients required to do blood tests by a consulting physician have the option of registering with the JDWNRH Lab focal for at-home collection of samples. Registration may be done over the phone by calling 17363418.

The blood sample collection team will visit homes from 6 am to 9 am, for the convenience of patients required to fast before the blood sample is taken.

The pilot in Thimphu will be evaluated for replication in other parts of the country with larger populations, where hospital visits may be encumbered by long wait-times and especially difficult for the elderly.

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