Transfer order received three months ago but gynaecologist yet to show up 

Without a gynaecologist at the Mongar Regional Referral Hospital (MRRH), expecting mothers are referred to hospitals in Trashigang, Dewathang, Phuentsholing and Thimphu.

This has been ongoing for the last three months after the hospital’s only gynaecologist was transferred to the Jigme Dorji Wangchuck National Referral Hospital (JDWNRH) in Thimphu in December last year.

It was learnt that although MRRH received the transfer order for a replacement three months ago, the gynaecologist is yet to join office.

The hospital’s administration officer, Karma Yeshi, said that without a gynaecologist, the hospital is not able to provide services to expecting mothers.

“We call gynaecologists from Trashigang, Dewathang and Thimphu hospital for temporary duties,” he said.

Mongar residents said without a gynaecologist, they suffer.

A 35-year-old resident said she lost her baby when she was referred to Dewathang because of complications. She said she gave birth on the way to Dewathang hospital but the baby did not survive, perhaps because of the trip.

The woman said she was taken to Trashigang hospital when her condition worsened when they reached Rongthong. “But when I reached Trashigang hospital, it was stillborn,” she said. “My child could have been saved if there was a gynaecologist here in Mongar or if I was airlifted.”

The lack of a gynaecologist was also discussed in the last dzongkhag tshogdu and the tshogdu members resolved to ask the dzongkhag health officer to write to the ministry to look into the issue.

Details available from the hospital state that within the last three months, they referred 21 expecting mothers to the other four referral hospitals and two were airlifted to the national referral hospital.

Hospital staff also said there is no eyes, ears and throat (ENT) doctor and no pathologist in the hospital. The hospital, however, has 10 doctors, including a paediatrician, ortho surgeon, general surgeon, ophthalmologist, medical specialist, general duty medical officer and four dentists.

Tashi Phuntsho | Mongar