Nima Wangdi 

Less than a month after a comprehensive maintenance checkup, the only computed tomography (CT) scan machine at Jigme Dorji Wangchuck national referral hospital is sick again.

CT scan services has been suspended since May 14, just 17 days after the maintenance . Patients requiring the service are being referred to Mongar and Gelephug hospitals.

JDWNRH’s Director, Jigme Namgyel said the machine’s accessory, Nemoto Injector, has been burnt. “The accessory from Japan has reached Thailand and it will arrive in the country on the next available flight from Thailand to Paro.” The problem is with bringing in the accessory and spare parts.

Initially, the CT scan machine was down since January 24 this year.

The hospital tried fixing it with the spare parts that they purchased in February, but it did not work well. There were other problems too identified in the process. In May, a CT scan engineer working in Singapore was brought into the country in a bubble mode on April 23 after the local engineer failed to repair it.

The machine was fixed on April 28 and patients started availing of the service on April 29.

Jigme Namgyel said people blame the hospital for not keeping spare parts in stock. “This is impossible as we don’t know which part of this highly sophisticated machine would fail. It is also not viable economically.”

CT scan machines were installed at the national referral hospital in Thimphu and the regional referral hospitals in Mongar and Gelephu in June 2018.

Health Minister (Sowa Lyonpo) Dechen Wangmo said CT scan machines would soon be installed in Dewathang and Samtse hospitals as well. “We have already procured them and should be coming in soon.”