Family members accuse  of negligence 

Choki Wangmo | Tsirang

A 47-year-old mentally challenged woman with underlying health conditions died on September 25 in a quarantine facility in Lhamoidzingkha, Dagana.

The relatives of the deceased alleged that she died because of negligence from health officials.

A relative alleged that despite their plea and repeated phone calls to the hospital, there was no response. “By the time we managed to transport her in a private vehicle, she was already in a severe condition.”

He said the deceased had heart problems and was a diabetic. “Earlier, Lhamoidzingkha hospital referred her to Phuentsholing hospital where she was admitted for a week.”

He said that she visited Phuentsholing hospital again after a month, but since there were no electrocardiogram (ECG) facilities in the hospital, she was referred to the national referral hospital in Thimphu on September 11. “We then registered for quarantine since her condition was worsening.”

According to the deceased’s brother, she became severely ill on the second day of her quarantine.

He alleged that he called the hospital for ambulance service at 2:43pm and once around 4pm.   

“The quarantine facility in charge, who is also a health worker, said that they will send support, but it never arrived.”

He said they were desperate and then arranged a private vehicle but by then it was too late. “She could have been saved with timely interventions from the hospital.”

The deceased is from Kerabari in Karmaling gewog.

Although sources said that the health ministry issued a letter to the hospital on the incident, the relevant authorities refused to comment.

Kuensel communicated with the health assistant, but he said he cannot comment on the issue without Lhamoidzingkha drungpa’s permission.

The drungpa, despite several attempts Kuensel made, was not available for comments.

Edited by Tashi Dema