Nima Wangdi 

Jigme Dorji Wangchuck National Referral Hospital’s (JDWNRH) food inspection team intercepted visitors delivering several types of illicit drugs last week.

The drugs were packed in meal boxes for patients and attendants.

Hospital officials said there were Spasmoproxyvon Plus (SP+) and hashish along with beer, coke and mouth fresheners. All items were confiscated.

The hospital’s chief administrative officer, Tashi Phuntsho, said the substances were intercepted on different dates.

He said people delivering the meals run away when security guards detect restricted substances and the officials can’t nab them.

According to Tashi Phuntsho, security personnel carry out a thorough inspection of anything being dropped to the hospital. “They check mattresses, blankets and even sanitary pads that are being dropped to the hospital.”

He said some  bring ara and changkoe in hot bottles and drugs well hidden in the biscuit packages. “We check everything to ensure that no restricted items go into the hospital.”

He also said there was tobacco hidden in sanitary pads.

Tashi Phuntsho said they now ask the name of the patient before inspecting the parcels. “This makes it easier for them to trace even if the person runs away after dropping the restricted item.”

He said they have caught SP+ and hassih in five incidences so far. “Doma and tobacco are detected almost every day. We have sealed all the illicit drugs that we have confiscated and they will be handed over to the police.”

Officials said that they are inspecting everything that comes into hospital not to penalise someone but to ensure the hospital is clean, safe and promote good health for both the patients and attendants. “We urge the public to cooperate with us.”

Tashi Phuntsho said they are also increasing the number of security personnel to make it more stringent. “People come drunk in the hospital and pick fights with security guards for inspecting their meals. They sometimes want to enter the hospital at odd hours.”

He said they receive five to six complaints every day about visitors having problems with security personnel at the hospital. “This happens even in the midnights.”

He said while people can drop meals thrice a day at specific times, sanitary pads, soups and fruits can be delivered at any time.

The hospital management said that alcohol, tobacco products, fizzy drinks, and illicit and prohibited substances are not allowed in the hospital. Only home-cooked foods, fruits, milk, biscuits, mineral water, horlicks, fruit juice and soup will be allowed.