This paper, in this issue, has covered four different types of stories which reveal a lot about the quality of infrastructure, equipment, food and services in Bhutan.
In terms of infrastructure we saw overnight swimming pools forming on roads in Thimphu and across Bhutan with the advent of the monsoon season.
In most cases potholes indicate a poor drainage issue in the surrounding area with water spoiling the roads but rather then fix the drainage issue the Thromde will spend millions repairing the road over and over again.
Newly built roads developing holes and pot holes show the poor quality of construction. With Bhutan spending billions on roads we deserve better.
In terms of equipment, medical procurement issues and lack of quality checks of the past continue to haunt medical services in Thimphu. Good examples are the
sole CT-Scan and MRI machines in JDWNRH that break down frequently and are not reliable.
This leads to long lists of patients including cancer and surgery patients who have to wait for the machines to come alive again. It also causes a lot of frustration for families and medical staff.
In terms of food Bhutan is the highest per capita consumer of meat in South Asia but we arguably get the worst meat in the region. Susceptible, junk eating, and even diseases ridden animals are slaughtered at our border regions in India which are then transported to Thimphu and other places without proper refrigeration.
The meat stalls here keep chunks of meat out in the open in a warm environment leading to further rotting of the meat. Very few safety and hygiene standards are followed and checks seem to be only cursory. As a result people are forced to buy and consume semi rotting meat.
Restaurants are also no better and don’t hesitate to serve rotting meat to customers who end up with health issues. The lack of adequate and quality slaughter houses in Bhutan will ensure the problem will continue for all time to come.
In terms of services the Thimphu Thromde outsourced its waste collection services to a private company. Given the efficiency that is normally associated with the private sector we expected better services but the incredibly erratic timings tell a different story.
The company in question is a dedicated one and may do well in the long term but as of now it has to get its act together. The Thromde should also have done better studies and provided more support to the company before handing over such a huge responsibility.
“Quality means doing it right when no one is looking.”