Response to, ‘Ministry’s ignorance of machine breakdown threatens lives of HIV patients’

This article has overlooked key points:(1) Patient’s confidentiality has been breached by exposing his medical records. Patient’s information is never given out to the public. The author is reminded hereby that it is a gross misconduct from medical-journalism point of view.

(2) A diligent compliance to anti-retroviral therapy (ART) by taking the drugs on time is more significant from management point of view than knowing the CD4+ count. Health care is a dynamic system which works on the rule of optimum. Thus, since Mr. Sithal is already taking his ART medicines, it will be optimum that he will need to continue is medicines whatsoever the value of CD4+ count.

(3) The author has mentioned that ART kills the human immune deficiency virus (HIV) which is yet to be established as a fact

(4) The immediate person responsible pertinent to this article is the head of the laboratory of respective hospitals, who must discharge his duty as per the job description given by the RCSC. In this case there was apparently inadequacy of management which the department must sort out and the ministry (not the minister) must regulate their employees provide optimum service to the people.

(5) The article could have concentrated on strengthening the ministry of health as a public service system rather than politically sabotaging the minister (not that this article is written in defense of the minister). We must remember that the minister is only an administrative post that changes every 5 years but what remains is the HEALTH CARE SYSTEM. We should criticize and help improve and develop the system.



Please don’t blame the author, she did a good job.

HIV patients are the susceptible lot of the population undergoing a lot of discrimination. They have higher chances of dying and I respect the patient’s fear and concern for his health. I am diabetic and if machine to check my glucose breaks down, I would have done the same or worse.

There is no breach of confidentiality because the patient chose to walk-in at the newspaper. He felt he had a right to health care as a Bhutanese citizen. He was showing his fear of dying and his desperation.Hats off to Sithal, the reporter and The Bhutanese paper.  Let’s hope the free medical care for HIV and other patients improve from now on in Bhutan as per the command of our leaders and the constitution of Bhutan.

 Palden Drukpa

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