Despite community transmission in Thimphu, Jigme Dorji Wangchuck National Referral Hospital (JDWNRH) is managing the COVID cases and providing medical services 24 by 7.
Medical Superintended of JDWNRH Dr Gosar Pemba said the hospital has increased the isolation ward in case the number of positive cases increases. Since the Out-Patient Department (OPD) is at ease, the hospital has enough doctors but there is shortage of nurses.
The health ministry has identified nurses from 25 dzongkhags and hospital will call them whenever they are needed because if they are called now then they will have to stay in quarantine facilities. Some nurses from nearby hospital have already joined the hospital.
All essential medical services are provided 24 by 7. Emergency department, cancer services, chemotherapy, radiotherapy, dialysis and immunization are all open. Only general OPD is not open for services. So if somebody is ill, the hospital is providing tele-consultation and also medicines are delivered at their place, if they need medicines.
Also if somebody is sick and needs to visit the hospital, first they will discuss with the doctor through tele-consultation and the doctor will send them a text message if they need to visit hospital. They can show the text message received to the traffic police or if the patient is quite serious, they can call an ambulance.
Dr Gosar said if the patient needs admission in the hospital, then both patient and their attendant will be tested for COVID-19 before admission and those individuals who come to emergency department which is outside hospital, need not test.
However, he said it has been easier to provide medical services and tele- consultation this time because of the past experience when the country had the first lockdown.
Since the positive cases are increasing every day and the risk of bringing the virus into the hospital is very high, in order to avoid that, all the health staffs are being tested for COVID_19 every week.
Health staffs are working in a rotational wise in various department like chemotherapy, radiotherapy, dialysis, lab, radiology and they do not go home but they go directly to the quarantine facilities.
The staffs are divided into groups. One group will do their duty and after a week, they are tested and similarly, another group will take over the duty. This is done because the hospital needs to keep a buffer. If all the health staffs are deployed in the hospital and if one of the health staff gets infected then it will be difficult to manage hospital and patients.
JDWNRH has more than 1,400 medical staff working there.
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