Staggering lapse in hospital procedures puts a life on high risk

A 73 year old woman who became unconscious on the dentist’s chair was negligently stashed in an emergency room, which her daughter equated to a pig sty-like condition in the Paro Dzongkhag hospital.

Two Dentists were in the process to extract her tooth when she passed out.

The woman, Dorji Lham was shifted to the said room but there was nobody to attend to her. Kencho Dem her daughter, said on her arrival she saw her mother in critical condition.

However just next to the room were some nurses who refused to attend to the patient despite the daughter’s repeated pleas. “They said she is not our patient so we can’t do anything,” Kencho Dem said.

“My mother was literally thrown on an extremely dirty sheet like a pig and her breath was slipping away. Not a soul was there to tend to her despite the number of nurses just outside the room during the incident.”

One of the dental technician Kuenzang Thinley, said  the daughter arrived at the hospital when they were out to fetch a drug for the woman and she misunderstood.

The daughter who completely refused to believe this claim said both dentists were downstairs in a room with other patients.

She had called the dental technician and asked why her mother was not attended.

The victim, Dorji Lham said one of the local actors Chencho Dorji was also present there for check-up and noticed that more attention was given to him.

Elsewhere it is standard procedure to monitor blood pressure when a person comes to extract their teeth.

In Dorji Lham’s case her blood pressure was not monitored using the Sphygmomanometer (blood pressure meter) nor was she asked verbally. Dorji Lham who has a history of high blood pressure said she was neither provided with any prescriptions nor checked for blood pressure.

However one of the dental technicians said they did ask Dorji Lham about her blood pressure and about other related complications.

Some experts said she was lucky the dental technicians did not give her any local anesthetics because it could prove fatal. The Bhutanese talked-to some patients at Paro hospital and in Thimphu.

Some villagers around Paro said they don’t know their blood pressures. When asked, they just say no. Most of them are uneducated and of the notion that if they feel healthy they don’t have any sort of abnormalities.

The dental HOD at the national referral hospital (JDWNRH) said normally blood pressures of the patients are asked verbally and no practical tests are done unless patients are in doubt or are not aware of their blood pressures.

He said almost all patients know their blood pressures and besides, fatalities from these lapses are very rare. However it’s very important to check blood pressures for old people.

Blood pressure checks is unnecessary for patients who have history of extractions since they do not have complications.

Diabetes or high blood pressure patients carry a book or a note for the dentist’s reference, but people from rural areas are clueless about it.

Most dental technicians in the capital and other parts of the country said ‘not checking blood pressure’ is prevalent even in other parts of Bhutan.

As these cases and incidences come under fire people across the country become reluctant to seek medical help and eventually land up with bone infections.

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  2. Is it not the responsibility of the dentist to check BP. How can an health staff just believe in what the patient states. What time and energy does it take to do a BP check up. wow what an assumption a HOD is stating that ‘almost all patients know their BP’. Please remind the so called HOD that all Bhutanese are not educated and they are least bothered about it. SO isn’t it the responsibility of health staff to check it. It is sad to read such news and it further sadden me when health staff have such assumption. Hope MOH will do something on this. 

  3. The dentist once made a mistake while cleaning my teeth and said I hace to do root canaling, after finished that she made a mistake again and said to take out the tooth completely, how can one even think of taking out the front tooth. The pain was unbearable.

    This is the standard of our Thimphu dentist, later on I went to impart hospital, the major dentist helped me until I got an opportunity to travel to bangkok and fixed it. for 6 months the major Indian dentist helped me to keep my from tooth covered with cotton as the jdwnr hospital dentist made a big hole behind the from the tooth.

    I thank the major dentist who really helped me to ease the pain, as only one who has the experience of tooth pain will know my pain.

    I feel that the most corrupted people are hospital people, they think that dealing with patient is a routine job and even one or two dies then it doesn’t make it difference to them.

    One time I went to visit my friend’s mother who was in emergency, I was denied access into the hospital later on after much plea I manage  to get in and what I saw nex completely shocked me, I accidentally looked into the glucose bottle n saw that it was past 8 months expired, I immediately told my friend and we informed the nurse attended, she calmly said it is no problem and changed it after much insistence…

    Since then i didn’t go to jdwnrw hospital, I always went to interact hospital

    We respect doctors as god and completely leave our health to them and if this is what and how we are treated then I am very sad.

  4. A couple months back I went to JDWNRH for a medical certificate. The consultation hours are only 4pm – 7pm Monday to Friday. I went there on a Friday at 5:30pm and the doctor had already left for the weekend without informing the reception. Many patients waited for about an hour before finally some staff called the doctor and he told them that he had decided on his own that he had seen enough patients for the day and had just left.

    The staff recommended we go to the emergency room to find a doctor, but the emergency room staff said they had a strict policy never to attend to those consultations. As Monday was a holiday, all those patients had to go home – some from far away places – and come back 4 days later on a Pedestrian Day.

  5. Where did the incident happen any way? There is no mention of hospital where it happened. Are the readers suppose to assume that it happened in Paro since the reporter had mentioned some villagers of Paro. Tenzin Lamsang should also do justice in editing the news.

    Ms. Yangzom, if you found that glucose expired you should have reported it to the concerned authority rather than only lamenting here. It is your mistake to have thought that Doctors are God. They are equally human as you are and mistakes are bound to happen. It is only right that corrective measures are taken through reprimand and continuing development programs. Health care is a public service and many people faces the brunt of waiting and chiding from health professionals. However we must consider the discrepancies at both management level and public expectations. Do you have any experience visiting RSTA, Banks and Telecom? Their is a business but they don’t even treat us like their customers. They think they are doing a favor to us. However this is not to justify that services in the hospitals are satisfactory. We must always give feedback for continuous improvement. 

    • The hospital name is stated in the first paragraph as Paro Dzongkhag Hospital! The story is quite simple to follow through, however, the editor must watch out for the grammer and punctuation marks. Thank you. My sympathies goes out to the lady and her family who have had to experience such harrowing ordeal.  I hope Aum Dorji Lham is doing better now. We can’t deny the fact that doctors tend to treat people differently once they know the background or status of the patients. Selective treatment of people depending on the background will stay because that’s how our society works. But there is hope in doctors like Dr Lotey and many others who take pride in their duties and also practice compassion. To all the staff, doctors, nurses and health workers in the hospitals, thank you for your dedicated service. We plead with you to have more compassion and patience while dealing with your patients who are ill, stressed out, agitated and depressed from having to deal with their sickness. 

  6. i feel dr are killer of germs after being Buddhist

  7. Killing germs for ur survival! Don’t write nonsense here!!! Dr(s) are human too like u Phuntsho… I have found u being very activist in every news here… When u knw how throw words to others, u should also knw how to capture the very fact of news being reported here.  It’s not that dr(s) are God!!!! 

  8. Bhutanese Doctors are Killer. If you compare them to gods that is big mistake guys. So never trust them,

    • akdhaskhdaskd

      hahhaa…dont get sick and u wont ned them. its simple as that. Nobody is forcing u to seek help from them if u feel tht bhutanese doc are killers.

    • sounds like u are already a dead man walking,,,,,, since m sure u hv been killed many times by doctors in the hospital from the day u were born…..

  9. Phuntsho dasho, u please give try giving feed back to them and next time u r out of their list. First of all, to be a doctor. Not anyone can be doctor, u have to be academically good, perfect thAt is why u r become doctor and doctor are not suppose to make big mistake, that is why they are doctor, that  sick lady wasn’t ur mother or sister otherwise, I would ask u to go to report to concerned agencies and wait for investigation and file report and then change glucose.

    The way u casually talkaing about someone’s life and feeling and not feel anything is reflected in the nature. 

    Thank god thru this newspaper I came to know such a person like u who is so emotionless. Keep it up we need a Bhutanese like u to come to be our leader

  10. Truth_is_Buddha

    It is often the ‘norm’ than an ‘exception’ where the human side of medicine is largely ignored by our health staffs. This is also recognised by the Ministry of Health. Please my dear health colleagues, do unto others as you would want others to do unto you. a slight negligence on your part will be fatal for your fellow citizens. Please let us have 100% faith and confidence not only in your skills but also your attitude and care. We are eternally grateful for your good work and services.

    • u sound like a very peaceful man ,,,,, sincerely hope u do practice what u preach to others,,, if u do then i shall worship u,,,,,   or the reason why u sound so peaceful is because u ,must be one of those individuals nicely sitting behind a huge table with full of gadgets and TA/DA files on it counting the cost of your last tour visit to some irrelevant/unnecessary tour/workshop…… m afraid u r not one of those sitting in the comfort zone of the ministry or to say the least in some administrative section in the hospital proper,,,,   the point m trying to make is its not easy for the ones who hv to attend to patients day in and day out specially when the patient count is too much and those providing service are out numbered,,,    it must be tiresome both mentally and physical when just 2 nurses hv to go around attending to more than 50 patients in a span of 6 hours which includes medications, vitals monitoring, cleaning and dressing of wounds,, taking blood samples,, and lots more,,,,,,n likewise when a single doctor has to attend to rounds of more than 60 patients in the ward which takes upto 3 hours including writing notes, making discharges blah blah blah,,, n after that have to rush to the opd to see upto 200 patients in a single day………      it is not easy ,,,,,unfortunately that situation is made worse when some shithead individuals barge in during odd time for timid reasons n demand for better service …… and more unfortunately the ones who make noise are those particular shitheads who simply are jobless and are just hell bend upon writing derogatory remarks against the health workers,,,,, 

      provide each doctor/ nurse with just a limited no.of patients to attend in a day,,  only then this issue ll calm down,,,,, but thats never a possibility….. so as long as the doctor patient ratio is not in favourable range,  ppl ll alwys remain unsatisfied,,,,  those who talk abt GNH will keep talking,,,,,,, even doctors and nurses need GNH if there is really one

  11. Good work! Its better to follow special consultation service(SCS) at JDWNRH as well……Are the services provided in the regular morning OPD and the special services of same quality? Are the doctors referring patients from morning OPD to SCS for money? Can common people like us afford such services? Can Government workout better renumeration and other allowences to the doctors or in par with our neighboring country doctors and make SCS free of cost? these are some of the issues that need in depth follow up.

    • a doctor cannot refer a patient from the routine opd to off hour clinics my dear friend,,,, its solely the choice of an individual patient,,,,, if he/she is in a hurry or wants to get certain appointments/results faster, then he/she may very well opt for that service,,,, n there r ppl who benefit with that,,,,,  there cost may be an issue,, but to bring tat down would b sensitive in few ways,,,, it may seem like the Ministry is promoting the special clinics service by encouraging ppl to attend that with just a nominal fee……   also more importantly if its made affordable to all then the patient load will magnify in the off hour clinic which in turn ll become same as the day time opd – in that case the intentions to provide proper special consultation ll remain only in its name,,,  

  12. Mr. reporter,

    u surely need to do more study on the subject …. how did u conclude that the reason the patient passed out was because of high BP?,,,   there are several reasons one can pass out in a painful procedure – pain in itself is a reason,,,,,  ofcourse with elderly patients BP should be checked or atleast asked verbally to those who are sound enough…  but in elderly ppl its more  important to alwys have an attendant along with them when they come for hospital visit….   it seems to me that her daughter was not present during the check up, she came later on and started making a lot of fuss abt it… if she was so caring of her old mother why was she not there with her from the begining,,, anyway thats a different issue…..

    on the reporters part, seems like he has noted down whatever the daughter said to him,,,, “stashed in a emergency room like a pig sty”   really?    i doubt that….. the reporter could have taken a picture of the room and put it here for all to see what really a pig sty in a hospital looks like,,,,,   otherwise just coz she said its a pig sty and the reporter write it as a pig sty doesnt make sense to me,,,,,,what did she expect the health workers to do ……  bring the patient to her deluxe bedroom house,,,,   probably the patient passed out due to pain related syncopal attack for which the only treatment is to make the patient lie down on a flat surface (that need not be necessarily a bed – which any way is a pig sty for the daughter) and one ll recover gradually,,,,         

    its a poor story , that too for a headline news,,,, i thought headline news stories are stories that are well written and well analysed ones,,,,  its just a poor one sided story in my view with no proper authenticity regarding any of the claims ,,,,  looks like it was rushed up to simply fill in pages……..

    to the daughter i suggest her to kindly make sure she alwys attends her old mother whenever she goes to hospital and also do make her a healthbook consisting of all past records specially her BP if it was high before as she claimed that,,,, and do complain to the relevant hospital management if she thinks the hospital roons are not clean and suggest for improvements rather than just screaming “pig sty” in the open air…..  i would love to see her luxury suit double deluxe bedroom……  have a good day to all


    is drives me crazy… most of them are so un professional. It was once i was suffering from a chronic throat pain and no fever at all ,,,i wait and wait for the doctor to come and at last he just send me with some PCM,,,,, i threw it at his table and said u must be one of those sir lanka passed out Doctor who just feeds in weeds every day in their college and here u want us to feed in PCM…seriously the quality of doctors are getting very worst..only few old doctors who are mostly in Thimphu are true doctors with wide range of their knowledge,,rest are just here to finish the month and get heir salary…its not NOBEL any more..

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