Rajesh Rai | Phuentsholing

Pasakha residents are disheartened that the temporary clinic at Bhalujhora will be shut from today. They want the clinic to remain.

The facility started as a flu clinic with basic medical services on August 26, 2021 to decongest Phuentsholing hospital given the frequent lockdowns, and benefit the residents, including staff from Pasakha industrial estate. A temporary structure was set up at Bhalujhora.

Given the large number of people, including those from the industrial estate, residents say Pasakha needs a health facility.

A resident Som Bahadur Rai said they have informed Pasakha tshogpa, Phuentsholing thrompon, and their Member of Parliament and Education Minister JB Rai. “But now the facility will be no more,” he said. “We are saddened by this news.”

Som Bahadur said that the temporary clinic had served the health facility purposes in a huge way. People don’t have to go all the way to Phuentsholing hospital, he added.

“There are old people who need consistent checkups and monitoring. This facility was really helping them out,” he said, adding that there are also those who cannot afford taxi and bus fares. “Having a health unit close to the community is helpful.”

Tshewang Sithar, another resident, said that the clinic was planned to be lifted two times before. “We will suffer if this health facility is removed from Pasakha,” he said.

He said the clinic provided most of the health services.

Tshewang Sithar said that more than 100 people come each day to avail of the service from the unit. “The news of closing it has troubled the people of Pasakha,” he said.

Health officials say the staff are working without proper basic amenities there. With Covid-19 restrictions done away with, the services can’t be continued due to manpower shortage, budget constraints, and a congested room.

Pasakha tshogpa Pravath Rai said he submitted a letter to Phuentsholing Thromde.

“People are continuously insisting that the clinic must not be lifted,” he said.

Thrompon Uttar Kumar Rai said thromde also felt the need for a health facility in Pasakha. “People have raised this concern for a very long time,” he said.

“During the monsoon seasons, Pasakha remains cut off due to the floods in Baunijhora and it had been hard for the residents to avail health services,” he said.

Phuentsholing Thromde has also written a letter to the health ministry requesting to keep the clinic, Uttar Kumar Rai said. “No response has come.”

The construction of a BHU was also planned and approved. Thromde allocated 30 decimals of land to the health ministry but it has not started due to budget constraints.

“Looking at the condition in Pasakha, a health facility is a must,” thrompon Uttar Kumar Rai said.