A separate outpatient department (OPD) for kidney transplant patients has started at the Jigme Dorji Wangchuck National Referral Hospital in Thimphu.

The kidney transplant patients can now get consultation with the only nephrologist at the hospital, Dr Minjur Dorji, every Saturday at Chamber 17 at the old hospital building. A nephrologist is a medical doctor who specialises in kidney care and treating diseases of the kidneys.

The OPD was started because of an increase in the number of kidney transplant recipients in the country. There are about 130 individuals who had undergone kidney transplant.

Bhutan Kidney Foundation coordinated a meeting between JDWNRH management and medical experts with the kidney transplant recipients at the Tarayana Hall on June 26. The recipients had proposed for a separate OPD during the meeting.

The foundation’s founder and executive director, Tashi Namgay, said the kidney transplant OPD started after the meeting. “JDWNRH management took it as priority and made it happen.”

Tashi Namagay said a separate OPD was necessary because the kidney transplant recipients’ immune system is suppressed with various medicines, which pose a higher risk of getting infections from other patients in the hospital.

“Infections would lead a kidney transplant recipient to further complications like rejection of a new kidney,” he said. “The recipients are happy with the hospital for starting the OPD after they proposed.”

The OPD gets patients from across the country. On an average, the OPD gets about 20 patients every Saturday.

JDWNRH’s medical superintendent, Dr Gosar Pemba, said it has been about two months since the hospital started the new OPD.

Earlier, he said that kidney transplant patients had to wait in queue with other patients and they couldn’t get dedicated time for consultation.

If the hospital had a renal clinic once a week then the kidney transplant recipients can consult the doctor and avail service. “It is to provide better care service to the patients,” Dr Gosar Pemba said.


Dechen Tshomo