With the rolling out of the appointment system in seven more outpatient departments (OPD), the national referral hospital in Thimphu now provides consultation by appointment in ten departments.

Dentistry, dermatology, ophthalmology, orthopaedic, paediatrics, psychiatry and surgery departments at the hospital started the appointment system yesterday. Hospital officials said through such initiative, they would provide satisfactory service to the patients.

Appointments can be made at the reception of the respective OPD by visiting the hospital or by making calls to the OPD concerned between 10am and 3pm.

Contact numbers of the ten OPD’s receptionist are available on the hospital’s Facebook page.

Hospital’s medical superintendent, Dr Gosar Pemba, in an earlier interview with Kuensel, said the system was introduced to reduce patient waiting time and to provide quality consultation.

With the appointment system in place, he said patients now don’t have to come early morning and wait for their turn. They can come to the hospital about five to ten minutes before their appointment. 

A resident, Jigme Wangmo, 32, said an appointment system is convenient especially for private employees like her. 

“Earlier, I had to take leave from work if I need to visit the hospital because it takes at least half a day to get the token and see a doctor. But now, with the appointment system, I can come just before my appointment time and it hardly takes 30 minutes to consult a doctor.”

Another patient at the hospital, Ugyen Dorji, 57, said he frequently visits the ENT department because of his ear problem. He learnt about the appointment system recently from a receptionist.

“People who visit the hospital are ill and nobody likes to wait when they are not feeling well. The new system has made it easy for patients to consult a doctor as we don’t have to wait longer,” he said. “But we have to make it on time.”

Moreover, Ugyen Dorji said the system gives him the choice to consult the doctor of his choice.

Hospital officials said if patients miss their appointments, they have to get a new appointment.

Each OPD also has provision for walk-in patients for those who are not aware of the new system but patients need to be in a queue for token and consultation as usual.

The hospital management requests all staff to follow the proper system and make prior appointments to avoid inconveniences to the public.

The hospital piloted consultation by appointment system in the ENT (Ear, Nose, and Throat), medical and Gynaecology/Obstetric departments in March this year.

Dechen Tshomo