Over-crowding in the Jigme Dorji Wangchuck National Referral Hospital (JDWNRH) is unavoidable as almost 1,500 people visit JDWNRH in a day.
People are advised to visit hospital alone unless a patient has some disability or if a patient is an elderly person who needs an attendant. Despite repeated requests health staff in the triage said that it is still common to see two to three attendants come along with one patient.
Medical Superintendent of JDWNRH, Dr Gosar Pemba, said that the complete prevention of crowd is not possible in some of the areas. However, the hospital is coming up with options to minimize the crowding by keeping certain facilities, such the reports collection, medical OPD appointment, token, ENT appointment and token, outside building. JDWNRH has also initiated separate medicine collection counters unlike before where all the patients had to collect it from one medicine counter inside the building. The hospital will also build another pharmacy so that it will ease crowding of patients who come to collect medicines. And in addition, DeSuups have been helping in crowd management.
Even in the wards, the hospital is strictly following one patient and one attendant rule. No visitors are allowed unless they are patients’ relatives. Every person visiting hospital will be sorted out in the triage and if any person has flu like symptoms then they will be sent to the flu clinic.
He said there is a great risk to be in a crowd, as chances of someone being COVID-19 positive is higher in a crowd, even with the use of masks. Dr said not only COVID-19, but there is a risk of catching other diseases as well in a crowd.
Since the government has announced the easing of restrictions, the hospital cannot request people not to visit hospital. The hospital will be following the new normal with additional safety measures. Most people visiting hospital are seeking treatment in chronic cases, and the other people who visit are because of some infectious disease, and then a sizable number of people visit for surgical issues including women with gynecological problems, said Dr Gosar.
As for the recent scientific evidence that increasingly points out that coronavirus is airborne, and World Health Organization (WHO) claiming that airborne transmission under certain conditions is possible, Dr Gosar said that JDWNRH has not received any recommendations or additional precaution which has been advised by WHO as yet.
He said if a person is sick and coughs without mask then there is a chance of spreading the virus. However, the use of wearing facemask, hand washing and avoiding crowds still stands the same.