The new 150-bed Gelephu Central Regional Referral Hospital (GCRRH) was inaugurated yesterday.

The much-awaited 40-bed Tsirang district hospital was also inaugurated yesterday.

During the inaugural session, health minister Tandin Wangchuk said the two hospitals hold a major significance to the overall framework of the health system in the country. “Gelephu hospital is a critical component to our referral system and it will decongest JDWNRH,” he said.

Today, over 20 percent of the patients in Thimphu hospital are referral cases from Mongar Regional Referral Hospital and GCRRH.

GCRRH will cater to six dzongkhags of Tsirang, Dagana, Zhemgang, Bumthang, Trongsa and Sarpang in a tertiary level healthcare service.  It is expected to ease the travel difficulties and logistical inconveniences for patients who used to avail services from JDWNRH.

At the moment, Gelephu has at least eight specialists including two gynaecologists, two medical specialists, an ear, nose and throat specialist, an orthopedist, a paediatrician and a general surgeon.

One of the new facilities the regional referral hospital has received is a CT scan machine and a digital X-ray machine donated by the government of Japan.

With regards to the Tsirang district hospital, the minister said the positive ambience brought by the change in healthcare service with better facility would help strengthen mother and child health and improve health information system.

He added that the project missed its initial deadline of May 2018 because of the incorporation of additional works such as the construction of a generator house, water treatment plant and other internal modification.

While GCRRH was constructed at a cost of Nu 835M, Tsirang hospital was completed at Nu 218M. Both the hospitals were constructed with fund from the government of India.

Nirmala Pokhrel | Tsirang