Nima Wangdi

The dental department of Jigme Dorji Wangchuck National Referral Hospital (JDWNRH) in Thimphu will shift to the Covid-19 hospital early next year.

Hospital officials said they are already working on relocating the department.

JDWNRH’s Director, Jigme Namgyel said the structure modification at Taba is underway as the hospital has to have a specific setting. The dental outpatient department services will be made available from there.

He said they are also exploring the feasibility of shifting more services to Taba as well. It is being done to make optimum use of the structures at Taba.

“The present dental department space would be used for other services since the hospital is faced with space constraints,” Jigme Namgyel said.

The structures at Taba were used to keep Covid-19 patients during the peak of the pandemic. They are vacant today.

However, people say that the dental department shifting to Taba will be far, especially for those residing in Thimphu core town and South Thimphu.

Dechen, a corporate employee, said that the JDWNRH was easily reachable from almost all places in Thimphu. But shifting it to Taba will be far and will become a burden for many patients.

Another resident said that it would be better if all required facilities are established at Taba hospital. He said that it would be a problem if patients had to keep running back and forth between JDWNRH and the Taba hospital for different tests and checkups required for dental services.

However, Jigme Namgyel said that all the required services would be installed at Taba. He said setting up the dental chairs is going to be difficult, as it requires expertise and experience.

The government approved a total revised budget of Nu 188.971M (million) for the acquisition of the national Covid-19 hospital at Taba, which is a private property with the payment of additional items amounting to Nu 14.924M.

The Cabinet also directed MoF to initiate the valuation of Nima High School and submit the report to the Cabinet and expedite the acquisition of the property of Kelki High School at Kanglung and Wangsha School at Phaduna.