Quality of hospital’s new buildings questioned

While no issues with quality were found following an inspection, residents remain fearful

Infrastructure: The quality of Bajo hospital’s newly constructed residential buildings at Rinchengang have come under scrutiny after a 30-year-old male health worker fell from the first floor and sustained injuries after a part of the concrete-post of the railing of his balcony broke.

It has not even been a year after 24 health workers moved into the three new residential buildings. The buildings have three storeys each.

The victim’s grand mother, who was working in the kitchen at a time of the accident, said she was shocked and left in tears when her niece came and told that he had fallen off.

“His office friends came and rushed him to Bajo hospital,” said the 80-year-old grandmother. “He looked like a dead person,”

The following night, he was referred to the Jigme Dorji Wangchuck National Referral Hospital in Thimphu and kept under observation for nine days.

“I was told that I suffered internal bleeding but that was later found to have stopped,” said the victim. His CT scan, ultrasound and X-ray reports showed that his left leg and left forearm were broken and that he had suffered head injures. Medical reports also showed that he had suffered a ruptured spleen.

Although he was discharged from hospital on March 15 and was asked to take bed rest for a month, he was told that if complication arise, he would have to undergo surgery.

The joint managing director with the Punatsangchhu projects, Dasho Phuntsho Norbu, said the project’s administration office that looks after the health sector had conducted a site inspection along with two engineers soon after the accident, but no quality issues were found.

It was found that only a small portion of the side pole of the veranda had broken while he was trying to fix something outside the veranda. “The project would however look into compensating him and also do whatever we can,” said Dasho Phuntsho Norbu.

However, residents said they fear more accidents, especially if struck with an earthquake. Pointing to the cracks that have developed on another building between its foundation and the ground level, some residents said they question the safety of such buildings especially during the monsoon season.

Last year, the same building was seen with several cracks when a portion of a wall above the road that was built as protection for the buildings’ foundation slid. The project management along with health officials visited the site and subsequently did the corrective work, said residents.

“We make sure the construction quality is met through frequent site inspections,” said an official with Punatsangchhu. However, the cracks on the surrounding portion could be because of the ground soil, which takes time to stabilise, he said.

Meanwhile, only 24 units of a 69-unit residential building for Bajo hospital that was scheduled to be completed by May 2014, have been completed and handed over. The remaining 45 units are almost complete. The residential building is being constructed at a cost of Nu 170 million.

The 40-bed four-storey hospital building which was supposed to have been completed by this month is delayed.

Dasho Phuntsho Norbu attributed this to the moving of a transmission line, site development and location.

The construction company has been granted another year to complete the hospital.

Dawa Gyelmo, Wangdue

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