Photo: Bhutan Medical and Health Council

BMHC awaits the final decision from the General Body of Council under Ministry of Health on a 34-year-old kidney patient’s death

In the beginning of the year, the Bhutan Medical and Health Council (BMHC) took up the case of a 34-year-old woman who died in an isolation hotel on 28 January 2022. Currently, the case is with the General Body of Council (GBC), which is an apex body of the council chaired by the Health Minister, Dasho Dechen Wangmo. Under the directives of the minister, the final decision will be made.

Officials from the BMHC said the reason for taking the case too long is because of the long procedure. BMHC has submitted their findings of the investigations report on 28 February 2022 while the case was reported to BMHC on 5 February.

BMHC submitted their reports of findings to the Professional Ethic Sub-Committee, and their decision is not considered as the final decision. The committee has submitted the recommendations of the findings to the Executive Committee, chaired by the Secretariat of the Ministry of Health. The committee is composed of 11 to 13 members from non-medical expertise, such as CSOs. The same amount of time is taken by the Executive Committee since they will have to analyze and should have a clear understanding of the case.

Since the case is complicated, therefore, it was forwarded to the GBC.  However, BMHC was asked to revisit the findings and submit them, which was done a couple of weeks ago. Currently, the case is with GBC, waiting for the final decision.

Most of the time, the cases get delayed because of limited manpower, and every case takes about five months to a year to come to a decision. As per the BMHC Regulation 2005, the case should be decided within one year, said the official. 

BMHC will notify all the people involved in the case, when they receive the final decision from the GBC, said the official.

BMHC is guided by professionalism and good clinical practice among medical and health professionals, and they are not to penalize anyone. 

BMHC takes up any medical related complaints, but it should be in a written format. They will form an enquiry committee with three members including technical committee to have a fair investigation. 

The case of the death of a woman in an isolated hotel was in the media, and it is considered a written complaint. “So, this is the reason why we took up the case.,” said the official.  

Meanwhile, the BMHC has been receiving numerous complaints than in the past. The official said the complaints they receive in a year are now received in a month, after BMHC took up the case of the death of a 34-year-old woman.

BMHC receives all kinds of medical negligence complaints, such as wrong surgery, wrong prescription of the medicines, cases where a health assistance asked a caretaker/peon to do his work are the most common complaints. “We don’t take up the complaints written by anonymous people,” said the official.

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