Number of outpatients increased by 28,887 patients in 2017

At least five sexual assault cases are registered every month with the Department of Forensic Medicine at the national referral hospital in Thimphu.

According to the Jigme Dorji Wangchuck National Referral Hospital’s (JDWNRH) annual report 2017, about 65 sexual violence cases were registered with the department in 2017, which is 21 more than the previous year.

Since the establishment of the department in 2005, then known as the Forensic Medicine Unit, the department recorded the highest number of sexual assault cases in 2006 with 66 cases. It registered nine cases in 2005.

With 643 cases, interpersonal violence or common assault tops the list of medico-legal services provided by the department in 2017. Domestic violence and road traffic accidents follow next with 339 and 278 cases registered in the same year.

Besides providing medico-legal services to victims of interpersonal, sexual, and domestic violence, the department also provides services to victims of work-related and road traffic accidents.

Last year, the department saw 34 work-related accidents while two cases were registered in 2016. Road traffic accident cases dropped to 278 last year from 310 in 2016.

Forensic officials said work-related accidents refer to accidents that occur to people when they are at work.

There is a plan to have a mortuary and autopsy facilities at the department in the 12th Plan.

Forensic officials said the department is the national referral centre for regional and dzongkhag hospitals and BHUs for medico-legal related issues and offers tele-consultation and training to health workers. 

The department is expected to become a teaching centre for postgraduate residency programme in general practice starting this year.

According to the hospital’s annual report, the number of outpatients visiting the hospital last year increased by 28,887 patients from 497,604 in 2016. The mortality rate was 3.9 percent.

The hospital provided community health services to 78,548 patients, saw 55,548 dental cases, provided physiotherapy services to 31,264 patients and dermatology services to 16,425 patients last year.

The emergency department attended to 26,646 emergency cases while the pharmacy department provided services to 386,780 patients.

The hospital currently has a bed strength of 368 with an occupancy rate of 74 percent. About 17,468 patients were admitted to the hospital in 2017.

Meanwhile, the hospital performed 8,894 surgeries, 4.1 million lab tests, 35,364 X-rays and 25,975 ultrasound examinations last year.It also performed 5,809 CT scans, 3,472 MRIs and collected 3,900 units of blood.

The hospital delivered 4,553 babies out of which 1,283 were caesarean sections.

During the hospital’s foundation day on May 2, the hospital president Lhab Dorji said that the services provided were because of the dedication and hard work of the hospital staff, and support from the ministry and other agencies including donors and volunteers.

“We will serve our King, country and people to the best of our abilities, and shall strive to improve the quality of patient care and health services so that Bhutanese people will derive the benefit of innovation in healthcare and transfer of technology at JDWNRH,” Lhab Dorji said.

The hospital today has 1,300 staff working in 20 departments.

Dechen Tshomo