OSCC may be established, finally

MTR: Royal Bhutan Police and the agencies dealing with forensic investigations have their best chance to push for the long-awaited integrated forensic lab in the country.

During the home ministry’s 11th Plan midterm review on February 26, Prime Minister Tshering Tobgay asked the police to submit a proposal to the Cabinet immediately. He said the government would seek donor funds or allocate from internal sources to set up the lab.

“If it’s needed, then it’s time we decide on it,” said Prime Minister.

Officials from numerous agencies at a high-level meeting last September said there is an urgent need to establish a one-stop crisis centre (OSCC) that would provide all services such as medical treatment, forensic investigation and advocacy from one place to victims.

Colonel Thinley Dukla said the lack of forensic laboratory in the country hindered swift delivery of justice. “While we’re given 108 days to report to the court with test results, we can’t submit them.”

Health officials said the absence of such facilities could lead to miscarriage of justice.

The forensic and toxicology unit in the referral hospital does not have autopsy facilities with histopathology lab, toxicology laboratory, forensic DNA facility, forensic radiology and forensic odontology necessary to deliver reliable.

National referral hospital’s Forensic Medicine Unit even in death investigation can only do mere external examination while sexual assault examination is done without DNA analysis, and disputed paternity testing is sent to Sri Lanka.

It takes at least two to three months for DNA test results to come from Sri Lanka. Each sample testing costs at least USD 40 excluding postal charges.

The idea to establish such a centre is not new. The annual police conference in 2005 and a judicial workshop in Gedu in 2008 recommended establishing such a centre.

Domestic Violence Prevention Act and Child Care and Protection Act too mandates for establishing such a centre.

The Domestic Violence Prevention Act 2013 mandates the health ministry to establish an OSCC.

Section 35 of the act states: “Health ministry shall establish a One Stop Crises Centre which shall facilitate the victims in receiving the medical treatment and maintain records of treatment of victim.”

Section 238 of the Child Care and Protection Act says: “In order to facilitate expeditious processing of offences against and to safeguard the best interest of the child, the government shall establish a one stop crisis centre in every major government hospital staffed by a police official, psychiatrist, social worker and a legal counsel.”

Tshering Palden

1 reply
  1. Timbu
    Timbu says:

    one stop crisis centre who is basic establishment in other countries be it developed or developing, absence of one in our country is a laughing stock.

    “Health officials said the absence of such facilities could lead to miscarriage of justice.

    The forensic and toxicology unit in the referral hospital does not have autopsy facilities with histopathology lab, toxicology laboratory, forensic DNA facility, forensic radiology and forensic odontology necessary to deliver reliable.

    National referral hospital’s Forensic Medicine Unit even in death investigation can only do mere external examination while sexual assault examination is done without DNA analysis, and disputed paternity testing is sent to Sri Lanka”.

    this clearly shows how slow the health is moving on. even in 50 years of modern health facility that came to bhutan, till now our big officers are simply touring the villages for nothing or sightseeing the foreign countries? why it is taking so long to so we haven’t got one.

    this is a basic requirement for a state that serves as a backbone to the nation. why not train the interested candidates for the right job and start or waiting for the right candidates to come. this is ridiculous. health ministry gives useless answers when questioned.

    ministry of health, be faster, you are restricting yourself. hope you will be in the right track. fast track.

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