His Holiness the Je Khenpo, after performing the purification rituals (Lhabsang Thruesel), handed over seven ambulances to the health ministry yesterday.
The seven King Long ambulances which cost about Nu 7.76M (million) were offered to His Holiness by the devotees from abroad.
Three ambulances will be given to the regional referral hospital in Mongar, Lhuentse and Trashiyangtse hospitals as commanded by His Holiness.
Deputy Chief programme officer with the ministry’s Emergency Medical Services Divison, Wangchuk Dukpa, said the rest of the ambulances would be distributed to the health centres where they are required.
Samtse and Pemagatshel hospitals will receive an ambulance each. Punakha hospital will be given two ambulances.
Health officials said an additional ambulance to the Punakha hospital is as desired by the devotees as their gesture for services they received when they visited Bhutan.
The ambulances will be dispatched to the designated hospitals by June 16, this year.
According to standards, health centres above Grade I Basic Health Units (BHU) will get the ambulance. However, Wangchuk Dukpa said that in Bhutan, an ambulance is provided to some Grade II BHUs considering the distance from the district hospital. If a hospital is far from a grade II BHU, then the BHU is given an ambulance.
With the seven ambulances, the country today has 118 ambulances across the country. “These additional ambulances will significantly enhance the patient transportation during emergencies in the country,” health officials said.
These ambulances were committed by the devotes to His Holiness, in addition to their donation of six ambulances in the past years.
Wangchuk Dukpa said the agents who offered the ambulances supported to transport them till Kolkata from the manufacturing plant. From Kolkata to Thimphu, the health ministry bore the transportation cost including taxes and insurances worth Nu 1.83M.