Wandering patient admitted in the psychiatric unit of JDWNRH

Patient X – Kali Maya

The absence of a proper designated facility sends a female patient from one venue to another where even the authorities are clueless with regards to her referral. First it was the WCPU of police station and now it’s the psychiatric ward of JDWNR hospital

After the one month and two days that Kali Maya, 30 spent inside the recreation room of the Woman and Child Protection Unit (WCPU) of Thimphu police station she was finally admitted in the Psychiatric ward of the Thimphu national referral hospital (JNWNRH) on Monday.

She was kept in the recreation room for a month before she was brought to the police station on the evening of 18 October, after someone had complained that she was wandering in Thada goenba which is about 60 kilometers away from the capital town.

Despite numerous announcements in the television (BBS) and notifications to other police stations across the country, there was no information about her relatives or whereabouts.

The officer-in-charge (OC) of WCPU said, “No one turned-up for her and for how long she will be admitted in the hospital also depends on the hospital management and also her illness”.

“In our capacity, whatever we could do, we did and with no option left we had to hand her over to the hospital where she can be given better treatment and care compared to us,” the OC said.

It is also learnt nothing was recovered from her except for old torn clothes. No citizenship card was found on her person to prove her identity.

The question arises, where did she come from and is she really a Bhutanese and if so where are her family members? Very little is known about Kali Maya whose name is also not really confirmed. Kali Maya was a name she blurted out during interrogation and this is the second time she was brought to the police station.

Such cases are not unusual for the police. This year till date a total of four such cases were reported with the WCPU of police station. The OC said there might be more of such cases but only few are reported while many remain unreported.

Police attributes the reason for such incidences to the absence of a mental asylum due to which such people are left to wander in the town and suffer.

There are NGOs for women and children to look after their welfare but till date no one approached the Ministry of Health (MoH) with the proposal to establish a mental asylum for people like Kali Maya.

The health ministry has no intention of coming up with a mental asylum as of now. However the ministry at one time did intend to open a mental asylum in Bumthang but the plan was dropped due to some reasons.

Director General of Department of Medical Services (DMS) with the Ministry of Health, Dr. Ugen Dophu had said in an earlier interview that the ministry does not plan to establish a mental asylum but will welcome those who want to set up one.

“Kali Maya needs Psychiatric attention and not police attention,” the officer in-charge of WCPU said.

Talking to people randomly, many agreed that Bhutan should at least have one mental asylum for such unfortunate people.

Chencho Dema

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