Sixty-two years after the first hospital opened at Langjophakha in Thimphu and coinciding with the birth anniversary of the Third King, the Jigme Dorji Wangchuck National Referral Hospital (JDWNRH) celebrated its first foundation day yesterday.
Her Majesty The Gyaltsuen Jetsun Pema Wangchuck graced the foundation day celebration.
A series of activities were organised since the launch of the celebration on February 13 to culminate on May 2.
The hospital’s president, Lhab Dorji, said that in the last 10 years, under the royal patronage of His Majesty The King, there has been an unprecedented improvement in healthcare in general and a shift in focus for the JDWNRH in becoming the pillar of tertiary care in the country.
He said it was a historic for the hospital to celebrate its first foundation day, 62 years after the first hospital opened at Langjophakha, Thimphu in 1956.
Besides introducing specialised services like neurosurgery, urological services and cancer surgeries, he said the hospital has introduced inter-uterine insemination, renal clinics, forensic toxicology service and the Bhutan emergency aeromedical retrieval services.
Computed tomography (CT), magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), echocardiography, and advanced laboratory services were added to the diagnostic services.
Lhab Dorji said the hospital will see further expansion in infrastructure and services with the construction of the 150 bed Gyaltsuen Jetsun Pema Wangchuck Mother and Child Hospital; the Gyalyum Kesang Choden Wangchuck National Eye Center; an additional hospital wing; construction of an administration building; creation of the oncology and palliative care ward; expansion of the emergency department; construction of an epidural ward; and the addition of the 22 bed Dialysis Center built by His Majesty’s Kidu Medical Unit.
“Such huge investments illustrate that the royal government is according the highest priority in providing the best healthcare to our people,” Lhab Dorji said. “We are set to introduce more specialised services in the 12th Plan”
The services include kidney transplant, cath-lab services, pacemaker programme, mammography, joint replacement, dental implantation, cochlear implant, and a sleep study programme.
Her Majesty The Gyaltsuen released the annual JDWNRH Report 2017, three tribute songs and a musical video of JDWNRH.
A token of appreciation in the form of a citation was given to both international and national donors and volunteers to recognise the generous contributions they made to the hospital.
HRH Princess Kesang Wangmo Wangchuck, National Assembly speaker, National Council Chairman, cabinet ministers, secretaries, government officials, heads of the international organisations and the hospital staff attended the celebration at the Royal Bhutan Police mess.
About 14 staff including doctors, nurses, technician, administrative and support staff were awarded employee of the year awards.
Director of the hospital, Tshering Yangden, said this is to boost the morale and motivate their staff.
Prizes were also given for sports competition and based on an assessment of the 120 units in the hospital based on the four criteria of infection control and waste management; 5S-Continuous Quality improvement; patient safety and patient satisfaction.
Tshering Yangden said the criteria determined excellent, efficiency, safety and compassionate component of various clinical services. “Accordingly, the award is called Excellent, Efficient, Compassionate and Safe Award.” The celebration will be an annual event.
The JDWNRH began as an allopathic hospital in Langjopakha in 1956, built under the command of His Majesty the Third Druk Gyalpo. It was moved to the present location in 1974, and known as Thimphu General Hospital. It was renamed Jigme Dorji Wangchuck National Referral Hospital in 2002, in honour of His Late Majesty, and the vision to ensure that every Bhutanese had access to healthcare.