In October 2016, a Malaysian donor donated medical equipment worth Nu 1.2 million to JDWNRH. It included a dialysis machine for kidney patients, a phototherapy machine for neonates and other equipment. The media reported the launch.
The donation was made through the President of the hospital, Lhab Dorji. Similar donations were made until 2019 when he exited the hospital.
The Royal Audit Authority’s memo stated that the donor had deposited eight times from July 15, 2016 to September 23, 2019, ranging from USD 1,566 to USD 21,954 in each transaction. In total, the donor had deposited Nu 6.4M. However, it reported that the amount was not deposited in the patient welfare fund account.
The president’s family refuted the allegations of misuse.
One of his family members said that the donor wanted to donate but was unable to do so because there was no way to remit cash from a private individual from abroad directly to the government’s account.
“Additionally, he wanted to contribute only equipment directly based on necessities that he would lose access to it had he deposited the money in the Patient Welfare Fund,” the family member said. “As a result, our father permitted the donor to transfer the money to his account using his account instead of the Patient welfare fund account.”
She claimed the equipment were purchased in a transparent manner from local providers based on a bid price and after the purchase, the donor also travelled to Bhutan numerous times to hand over the equipment.
She claimed that the donor donated ventilators, dialysis machines, SPO2, veinscope, LED Phototheraphy machines, BP monitors, Gluecometers, hand dryers, through the funds deposited in the president’s bank account.
“We inquired with RAA official about the audit memo’s deliberate release to the media the day after the chargesheet in our battery case and why the RAA examined the account for 2016 to 2019 only in September 2022. RAA asserted that it did not provide a report regarding its finding to any media organization. The purpose of the report leak was nothing but personal vendetta and vindictiveness of certain elements,” she said.
Family members said that since the president was directly accountable in this case the memo should have been issued to him and given a chance to respond to the issues raised. “We never got a copy.”