Construction: A groundbreaking ceremony (salang tendril) yesterday marked the coming of a new 40-bed district hospital for Samdrupjongkhar in Dewathang.

The hospital will not only benefit the people of its 11 gewogs, but also the neighbouring dzongkhags of Trashigang and Pemagatshel.

While the groundwork has already begun, work on the infrastructure is yet to begin, which the dzongkhag health officer (DHO) Pema Tshewang said, would now commence.

The hospital would be constructed on the existing hospital site, located within the campus of Royal Bhutan Army (RBA) at Dewathang, 18km from Samdrupjongkhar.

Third King Jigme Dorji Wangchuck had inaugurated the existing 20-bed hospital on February 5 1965.  Before the RBA took over the hospital on August 14 1997, it was operated by DANTAK. The hospital today caters to about 30,000 out patient department (OPD) cases annually.

With financial assistance from the government of India, lyonchoen Tshering Tobgay who attended the ceremony said that a total of Nu 260 million (M) has been embarked for the new hospital’s construction in the current Plan and Nu 213.712M approved in the next plan since the project would spill over.

“As we are marking the 60th birth anniversary of the Fourth Druk Gyalpo, today is a happy moment for the people with such an important event being held at an important place,” lyonchoen said. “We also thank the government of India for such assistance.”

As per the project plan, the hospital is due for completion within the second year of 12th Plan, the DHO Pema Tshewang said.

He said the hospital would have an improved OPD with specialized services like dental unit, ophthalmology unit, and physiotherapy, improved diagnostic radiology facilities and more efficient laboratory services.

Designed with seismic resistance structures, the hospital will also be equipped with improved facilities such as air conditioning, proper water supply and waste management system, which are missing in the existing hospital.

Although, the new hospital as of now would be under the administrative control of RBA, the ministry of health would work together to provide health services.

Apart from Dewathang hospital, Samdrupjongkhar also has a 20-bed district hospital at Samdrupjongkhar town, which was constructed in the early 1970s. As per policy, the plan is to downgrade the hospital to a 10-bed hospital, which is also in poor condition.

The dzongkhag has two hospitals, eight grade II basic health units and two grade I BHUs.

Jigme Namgyel Engineering College offers Power Engineering


Lyonchoen Tshering Tobgay yesterday also inaugurated a new program Bachelors in Power Engineering at the Jigme Namgyel Engineering College in Dewathang. The institute is now upgraded as a college and its name changed.

The event is dedicated to the 60th birth anniversary of the Fourth Druk Gyalpo. The college will offer one-degree program along with seven diploma programs.

Although, the program was formally inaugurated yesterday, the program started in June this year with 22 students.

College director Andu Dukpa said Bhutan is rich in hydropower sector but only has civil and electrical engineers and lack engineers in specialized areas for the power and solar industry.

He added it was proposed after relevant stakeholders like economic affairs ministry, Bhutan Green Power Corporation agreed that such program was viable in the market.

The director said the institute being upgraded to college would help forge links to develop a higher level of research and innovative programs.

The college also held an exhibition, innovation 2015 and a book fair dedicating to His Majesty the Fourth Druk Gyalpo.

Yangchen C Rinzin,  Samdrupjongkhar


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