With the ever increasing number of patients visiting the hospital, there is also a growing need for medical equipment. Jigme Dorji Wangchuk National Referral Hospital (JDWNRH) sees the maximum number of patients among all the hospitals across the country with the OPD attendance coming to around 600,000 in a year including surgeries. Users for the other services such as endoscopy, ERCP, colonoscopy, CT scan, MRI X-ray and dialysis increased from 16,242 to 19,927 from 2014 and 2015 with an average of 1,000 people visiting the hospital every day.
However, the gap between the growing number of patients and limited budget for the procurement of equipment is being filled up with the donations from donors and various agencies and organizations with the main donor being Her Royal Highness Ashi Kesang Wangmo Wangchuck. There are also are other medical equipment donors like H.H Je Khenpo, Ayang Rinpoche, JICA, Dasho Ugyen Dorji, Thuji Yonten, HOWES, a US professor, Gup TD, Mrs. Lisina Hoch, Dr Yuroku etc.
Excluding the donations made for the furniture and infrastructure, there were more than 50 equipment donated till 2016.
The Medical Superintendant of JDWNRH Dr. Gosar Pemba said that going by the number of patients and the need to diagnose the diseases, having to procure all the infrastructure and medical equipments by the government would be very difficult. “Health cost is rising, patient needs and expectations are changing, and new medical technology is badly needed” said Dr. Gosar Pemba.
There are a total of 1,385 medical equipments with the JDWNRH which include all kinds of equipments like MRI, CT scan, dialysis machines, radiant warmer and numerous types of equipments. The record with the hospital shows that the maximum donated equipment so far is dialysis machine with 13 of them, followed by other equipments like syringe pump, suction machine and infusion pump.
The superintendant said that the donations have hugely benefited the hospital, government and the people directly or indirectly saving cost as well as tlives of people. He also said that with increasing number of kidney patients every year, the donation of dialysis machines has been of immense help. The hospital has a total of 21 dialysis machine out of which 14 are donated ones. “It’s necessary to have back up machines in case of emergency and breakdown,” he said.
He also said the hospital has the human resources with multiple technicians in place for the installment and maintenance of the machine yet lacks the finances to do so. However, apart from the medical equipment, there have been numerous donations in terms of furniture and infrastructures.
The medical Superintendant said that HRH Ashi Kesang Wangmo Wangchuck has so far made the most significant contribution for the improvement of the delivery of health services in a country. However, he said that most of the donations made by Ashi are not publicized. “Her Highness don’t like it being publicized so most of the contributions made are unnoticed by the people”
Her Highness this year itself donated numerous medical equipment, consumables and vehicles worth more than Nu 10 million. Ashi also funded the construction of guesthouses for the poor and long term sick attendants and also provides monthly financial support to leprosy and disadvantaged patients admitted in the hospitals. Ashi has also been looking after patients undergoing rehabilitation even outside the country.
Aside from JDWNRH, Ashi has also been doing a charity work in the two regional hospitals in Gelephu and Mongar. Ashi has also donated her blood more than 70 times, as per JDWNRH.
H.H The Je Khenpo donated dialysis machines among other medical equipment like Treadmill and Holter Monitoring system in the past.
JICA has donated Cardiotocography or CTG machines to monitor the heart along with Radiant warmers and fetal dopplex.
Ayang Rinpoche in 2013 donated some dialysis machines which were also donated by the Dratshang and Dasho Ugyen Dorji. A machine was also donated by Ugyen Academy and another by Mr Thuji Yonten.