Sherab Lhamo

Ministry of Health observed the World Patient Safety Day yesterday to promote patient rights and responsibilities, and raise awareness on current patient-safety practices.

“Patient-safety is a fundamental right that everyone deserves when seeking healthcare,” said the ministry’s Acting Secretary, Pemba Wangchuk.

He said that healthcare is a collaborative effort, and patients are at the heartcore of the collaboration among healthcare stakeholders. “Healthcare providers must strive to communicate clearly, and attentively listen to their concerns,” he said.

The secretary said that engaging patients in patient-safety begins with effective communication. By creating an environment that encourages open dialogue, we can bridge the gap between patients and healthcare providers, helping to enhance trust and improve safety.

“Patients know their symptoms and concerns and the information they share can help prevent medical errors or complications and help us identify and avoid potential risks”,said the Health Services Director, Kinga Jamphel.

For better communication with the patients, the healthcare providers have to be trained on how to speak with patients, “as majority of healthcare staff scold patients, making patients reluctant to speak out and avail their service,” said a nurse.

Jigme Dorji Wangchuck National Referral Hospital, clinical nurse, Tshering Dema said, for patient-safety the hospital is following the 5 P’s, Pain, Potty, Positioning, Periphery, and Pumps.

She added that in the past they used to go on round checkups with doctors, now after going on rounds with the doctors, the nurse’s divide the patients and go on rounds checking the five P’s. “This has helped reduce patient complaints.”

Hospital visitors said they have witnessed doctors and nurses giving preferences to their friends, family and relatives, allowing them to skip the line and see the doctor.

A patient said when they went to the emergency room, the room was packed with patients who were very ill and had to wait for a long time.

The event was attended by officials from ministry, Khesar Gyalpo University of Medical Sciences of Bhutan and JDWNR hospital.