The centre is also expected to reduce referral costs

Medical: With the establishment of the Centre for Research in Respiratory and Neuroscience, the Khesar Gyalpo University of Medical Sciences of Bhutan (KGUMBS) is going a step beyond medical education and patient care, the faculty of postgraduate medicine’s dean, Dr Tashi Tenzin said during the launch of the centre yesterday.

The first of it kind, the centre is expected to improve both basic science and clinical research, to cater to patients in coordination with the Jigme Dorji Wangchuck National Referral Hospital (JDWNRH), to act as the centre for research generating evidence to improve services and to reduce referral costs in terms of both government and private expenses, among others.

The president of the university, Dr Kinzang P Tshering, said that the main mandate of the university is to promote medical education, research and improve patient clinical care. “The centre will benefit and facilitate in providing the three mandates of the university.”

Lecturer Dr Karma Tenzin said that it took the university about two years of planning to have the centre in place.

Of the three different laboratories the centre houses, an electroencephalogram (EEG) lab is in the pipeline while a respiratory lab to test lung functions and neuroscience lab facilities are available.

The neuroscience lab has three different components: nerve conduction studies, electromyography (muscle studies) and autonomic function testing (nerve studies).

Dr Karma Tenzin said that the university will have an EEG lab ready in a few years, which will later function as a sleep medicine centre in the country.

Besides using the centre to conduct research by both faculty and trainees, and for academic purposes, the centre will be used to provide clinical services to patients.

Patients with lung disorders will be assessed for fitness for any major surgery and, diagnose and monitor responses to treatment in lung diseases including occupational lung disease through lung function tests.

Patients with muscle and nerve disorders will be assessed for trauma cases affecting nerves and muscles.

Meanwhile, the EGG lab, once established, will be used to monitor epilepsy and seizure disorders.

Dr Kinzang P Tshering explained that the centre is small but a new big step. “We will progress gradually and build up the department of physiology to enable us in our future endeavor to start the medical college.”

The department will play a crucial role when the medical college starts because physiology is the basis of the disease process, Dr Kinzang P Tshering added.

The university will be able to produce international standard researchers in due course of time, which will improve clinical care, diagnosis of diseases particularly respiratory ones, among others.

Dechen Tshomo