Nima Wangdi  

For the convenience of the people wishing to travel abroad, two more regional hospitals, Mongar and Gelephu will facilitate health examinations for overseas Visa purposes from next month provided the ministry of foreign affairs approves it.

This is expected to reduce the workload at the Jigme Dorji Wangchuck National Referral Hospital (JDWNRH). Only JDWNRH is recognised to perform health examinations for overseas Visa purposes and it led to a large number of backlog cases.

Having received some cases of people travelling all the way from places like Trashigang to Thimphu for the health examination and not being able to get appointments, regional hospitals starting the service should help.

Health ministry officials said the ministry proposed foreign affairs ministry to allow the two regional hospitals to perform the task. This is in view of the increase in demand from the people. The foreign affairs ministry would approve it in consultation with the receiving countries.

The official said if needed the service may also be started in some cluster hospitals with approval from the foreign affairs ministry in future. “Board of doctors are also being constituted in the cluster hospitals in Tsirang, Wangdue, Samtse, Bumthang, Trashigang, Dewathang and Phuentsholing.”

An MoH official said, JDWNRH currently is working hard to clear the backlog. “It is expected to complete in about two weeks.”

JDWNRH’s officiating medical superintendent, Dr Norbu said that the hospital was working hard to clear all the backlog so that people can apply in time for July admission. “We have increased the number of daily cases from eight to some 40 today including weekends.”

Dr Norbu said, with the backlog and the pressure from the people, the JDWNRH administration requested doctors and other professionals to work for free. “We are doing this following the order from the Ministry of Health.”