Hospital justifies, but Sonam Peldon will never stand on her feet

Blame it on the doctors or the parents but the fate of three year old Sonam Peldon remains, perhaps in lifetime paralysis with a lifeless left hand.

She dreams of walking one day but her dream will remain a dream only.

The parents of the three-year old, Sonam Peldon, feel that the delay in the operation performed on her daughter when she was just 9-months old could have been the cause of paralysis while Medical director of the JDWNR hospital says it is not the case.

In an interview with The Bhutanese, the medical director, Dr. Kinzang P. Tshering, Neonatologist said ”Our first aim was to save the life of the girl, which we did. The cause of the girl’s paralysis was not due to the negligence of the doctors, we have operated her with good faith. There was pierce in the spinal cord, which could have gone to the brain and she could have died.”

“It was a life threatening problem, the girl would have died if the surgery was not done. Patients referred outside, do have same kind of problems,” the Doctor said.

He said that one can prevent complications but cannot prevent complications due to disease processes.

Sonam Peldon was born with a defect in the spinal cord and presented to doctors with multiple abscesses in the spinal cord which was confirmed by a CT scan.

On questioning the doctor’s about the implications in the long run, the doctor then had said that it would have no impact, said Sonam Peldon’s mother.

“Had the surgery been done during the time of diagnosis, the situation might have been something else,” said the 22-year old mother, Dema Yangzom.

“If it was a life threatening problem that my daughter was having then, why did doctors not tell me but wait till nine months to have operation done on her? By then the condition of my daughter had worsened. She refused to feed on milk, vomited and had fever. I had visited the hospital more than three times but I was always told, there was nothing to worry. With time, the lump also grew and a pierce had also formed,” she said.

The baby could move her legs, crawl but after the operation everything was tragic, said the mother.

“She has now problem with bowel movements and has to drag her whole body to move around,” said Dema Yangzom.

The family is from Trashigang and has been living in the capital for seven years.


Chencho Dema / Thimphu

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  1. Now this is funny. I am sure this doctor will be sued of millions of dollars had he been in another countries. Lucky that you are in Bhutan and you can take patient’s granted. You kept the parents in dark till date and now you are talking about the prognosis. You should have done this during the diagnosis. Being a doctor in Bhutan is really a beneficial one. Lucky doctors of Bhutan 

    • Our doctors will say that they are doing their best but i would like to say that only few will do. Until the case become critical they will not check the patient seriously when patients becomes critical then they will say that it is critical at the lst minute.

    • Had it been another country, the patient party would have shelled out millions for them to sue doctor… it’s the bigger picture that we need to concentrate here.
      I feel we should do a thorough investigation of this case for the sake of public satisfaction and also to see did this case really involved a case of negligence and delayed treatment.
      This young live and her family needs answers at the same time our doctors need to keep their names clean or else already reluctant patients might become more reluctant to go to hospitals for treatment.
      We need serious answers and need to review our health system more seriously for the better health care and services.
      Blaming one group of professionals is never never enough and never good.

  2. Are there favorable laws wherein the health professionals can be taken to court for negligence? 

    • Can we do that.I mean in Bhutan….?
      In any other country doctors get sued for all sorts of mess that do do in private hospitals. well, they make millions in private practice.
      I never heard that happening in govt hospitals even in other countries, unless doctor is really stupid or unfit to practice.
      If we start suing our doctors then we may well start suing every other civil servant in our country.
      Question is, why? well they are just another civil servant according to RCSC, or MoH or many colleagues.
      One can sue a staff in RCSC for delaying transfer…. emotional harassment and financial implication
      one can sue staff in RMA why? delayed transaction and etc etc blah blah…
      if our public are thinking of suing doctors then they should first ask the govt to pay their salary in millions. Or else most of our doctors will end up not paying unless govt plans to pay on their behave.
      Doctors in other country make millions in a year from private practice and it’s not so in Bhutan.
      A MBBS doctor hardly makes 2.5 lakhs in a year. So patients can limit to that much when and if they plan to sue for medical negligence. may be a little over 3.5 lakhs to 4.0 lakhs in case of specialist.
      To tell the truth, doctors in Bhutan are much much softer when comparing to other countries even when comparing to a private hospital where people pay in other countries. Ours is free!!!!!!! totally…

      • Dear GNH,
        I don’t really agree with you in some ways. In other countries the laws are same for both in the government and private hospitals. Even the Asian countries like Phillipines, Thailand and Myanmar have the same laws. Forget about the developed nations like Japan, Singapore, China, European nations and America. These nations they have been with the laws since decades ago. Yes the doctors are paid high and the laws are strict. Doctors fear patients and the relatives, and the patient trust in their doctor.  

  3. Saving a life is more important then saving a limb! I think the family should be grateful that their child is with them despite suffering a major problem perhaps!

    • If he little girl’s life was on the edge, doctors should not have let her wait for nine months to conduct operation. How can that translate to saving her life? Nine months… that is pure negligence. They didnot save her life. They created more trouble to her life by paralysing her. They had nine months to refer her to India. Why they didnot do it? This is pure negligence. You cannot fool a educated person like me evethough you can fool others. I am not a doctor but i understand well the medical processes.

      • Well I purely appreciate your comment. You have rightly said. It’s the negligence and the doctors should have done better than this. Now it’s in the hand of people of bhutan whether to get a good health service or to carry on with the same consequences. People of Bhutan should have some law to protect their health and the Doctors should respect the patients. God, get some change for our Druk Yul

      • wise man join in health and function well

  4. With the changing time, we need to change. Medical doctors have to take responsibility. Trial and errors should be done on human. Parenst to have to be compensated. In the west, it would call for millions of dollars for compensation and doctors jailed.

  5. and here they ask more for doing.

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