Tshering Namgyal | Mongar

Two health assistants and a menpa run the Drametse Basic Health Unit (BHU) grade II in Mongar which sees more than 6,000 patients a year.

Drametse health assistant, Nechen Dorji said the three health officials have to cater to a large number of patients from five chiwogs, besides those from central school and the local monastic school.

They also have to visit the three out-reach clinics (ORC) in the five chiwogs every month.

Nechen Dorji said the ambulance given to the BHU in 2016 has helped ferry critical patients to Trashigang hospital, which is an hour and a half journey, or to Mongar, a three-hour drive from Drametse gewog center.

The BHU faced a lot of  difficulty particularly during delivery cases. “Upgrading the BHU to a BHU grade I would address these issues.”

Mongar health officer, Tshering Dorji, said upgrading BHU-I was included in the 12th Plan under the sustainable development programme funding, and the construction work is expected to begin in 2020-2021 fiscal year.

Tshering Dorji said a total of Nu 50 million is allocated for site development, construction of 10-bedded medical ward and the staff quarters in the four-acre BHU area. Construction works are expected to take around 18 months.

Tshering Dorji said the BHU grade I would have 27 staff including two doctors, a drungtsho (traditional physician), X-ray and eye-technicians, nine nurses and supporting staff.

The news has excited the residents of Drametse and the neighbouring gewogs alike.

A driver from Drametse, Tshering, said they would no longer have to take their critically ill patients to Trashigang hospital or regional referral hospital in Mongar once the BHU is upgraded.

Dramitse gup, Kinzang Tshering said the proposal was submitted to the dzongkhag tshogdu (DT) through gewog tshogde in 2018, which was approved by the DT.

“The BHU will also benefit the people of Narang and Balam gewogs who could be referred to the upgraded BHU,” Kinzang Tshering said.

Villagers said that this could save them time and resources since they could be treated in the gewog and don’t have to travel for treatment.