Residents of Phuentenchu, Tsirang, want the community Primary Health Centre (PHC) relocated near the gewog centre for the convenience of students and other gewog residents.

They said health facility would become accessible for all residents if the health centre is near the gewog office where community primary school and other centres are located.

Without farm roads accessible to all types of vehicles during monsoon, residents of Tashichholing and Noorbuthang walk for at least two hours to reach the Grade II PHC located in Peljorling chiwog.

A resident in Tashichholing chiwog, Dhan Maya Bhandari, said she goes to the PHC in Tsirangtoed, which is about 15 minutes drive from her home.

She said that if any school children fall sick, it would become difficult to avail health-related services. “It is difficult even for adults.”

Another resident, Bala Ram Adhikari, said with three chiwogs located near the gewog centre, locating the PHC to a new location would benefit more residents.

“If a patient is referred to a hospital in Damphu, the expenditure would double and more time would be consumed as the PHC is located in the other direction,” he said.

Phuentenchu gup, Shiva Lal Kararia, said the PHC is centrally located for the benefit of all residents in the gewog.

The gup also said that relocating the PHC is not feasible according to the health policy.

“We’ve proposed the agenda to the dzongkhag about a year ago and a feasibility study was carried out. The policy did not allow relocation, citing shorter distance to the Tsirangtoed PHC,” he said.

The dzongkhag health officer, Kinley, said with the Tsirangtoed PHC upgrading to 10-bedded hospital, relocating PHC in Phuentenchu would not be feasible as the policy do not allow the establishment of PHC within 5km radius from the  hospital’s location.

He said that they were unaware of the proposal submitted by the gewog administration.

Phuentenchu has 13 villages with a total population of 3,700 people.

By Chimi Dema | Tsirang

Edited by Tashi Dema