Fluctuation in power damages hospital equipment in Dzongkhags

Frequent power fluctuations are damaging electronic machines and other hospital equipment in various Dzongkhags leading to frequent breakdowns of such affected equipment.

So far, the Ministry of Health (MoH) is facing problems mainly with the Dagapela hospital in Dagana and Sipsoo Hospital in Samtse though there are issues in other Dzongkhags too.

Director General of Department of Medical Services, Dr. Ugyen Dophu, said, “There has been breakdowns in three x-ray machine and a lot of medical equipment in Dagapela alone and similarly there have been some damages in Sipsoo”. “So the BPC and Dzongkhag administration should look into this matter” he added.

Since the problem behind the frequent breakdown in the machines has been found to be the lack of reliable electric transmission lines, a letter had been sent by the ministry to Bhutan Power Corporation (BPC) in Dagana a year ago stating that unless the rectification of the electricity supply to hospital is done, the medical equipment will not be provided to hospital including the generator.

Other than the two Dzongkhags, other dzongkhags also have a minor problem in power fluctuations.

“The breakdown in machine causes a huge amount of budgetary loss to the government as one single x-ray machine cost’s not less than Nu 5 mn,” said Dr. Ugyen Dophu.

Dr. Nima Phuntsho at Dagapela hospital said, “So far there weren’t any major issues regarding the health of patients other than the power fluctuation and damage in medical equipment”.

The hospital is yet to install a transformer which is expected to be done very soon. “We are just waiting for the expertise from BPC to activate the transformer and the problem with power fluctuation will be better” he added.

Meanwhile the BPC division in Dagana is facing problems due to lack of an alternate power source and no dedicated line. The incoming source is from Tsirang Dargay substation where the four gewogs Lajab, Tshenkha, Drujegang and Khebisa is served with one way trapping. “If one of the four fluctuates the trapping, the whole dzongkhag will face a power shut off” said the officiating manager of BPC, Sonam Zangpo.

He claimed that the frequent power fluctuation and the damages in machines caused in Dagapela Hospital are due to an internal wiring problem.

The problem, however, is expected to be over by the next two years as the alternate power source of 220/3 kb substation will soon be started from Tsirang to Dagana, Lodomo under Tashiding Gewog.

However, some households are not happy with the power fluctuation. Mon Maya said “we always need to be extra careful about the TV and fridge since the power is uncertain here and the light sometimes goes off for the whole day for which we have to manage by cooking on stove”.

Sonam Pelden, another resident in Dagapela said, “My rice cooker was spoilt months ago during frequent fluctuations in power.”

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