Patient load at the national referral hospital is expected to ease with the construction of a dzongkhag hospital in Thimphu.

Health minister Dechen Wangmo said the ministry is currently working on the

Blueprint of the 20-bed hospital that would be constructed in Kawang gewog.

Government of India, she said, has committed Nu 291M (million) for the construction of the hospital.

The dzongkhag hospital will provide primary health services, Obstetrics and gynae, minor surgical, and pediatric services with inpatient facilities.

Lyonpo said that by opening the dzongkhag hospital in Kawang gewog, the hospital is expected to cater to the residents of Dechencholing, Taba, Changtagang, Babena and even Naro as the construction of a road is underway. “The hospital will ease the patient load at the national referral hospital.”

Today, the JDNWRH serves as a dzongkhag, a teaching and national referral hospital. In 2018, the hospital saw 552,544 patients, 26,053 more than the previous year at its outpatient departments. Inpatient admission increased from 17,468 in 2017 to 17,709 last year.

Thimphu will also have four satellite clinics. Initially, the location of the clinics was planned at Motithang, Taba, Babesa and Debsi.

However, Lyonpo said there could be some changes in the location. “If the hospital will be built in Kawang then we may not need a satellite clinic in Taba so it relocated to another area.”

Babena in Thimphu is likely to house the clinic that was initially planned for Taba.

While the registered population in Thimphu is about 13,000, its resident population is more than 100,000, she said. “We have many hubs here and the catchment areas like Debsi, Changjiji, Olakha and Babesa together have more resident population than some of the dzongkhags.”

Lyonpo said that many of the basic mother and child health care services like immunisation and OPD services can be taken care at the satellite clinics.

Asian Development Bank (ADB) has approved a grant of USD 0.65M for the three satellite clinics in Motithang, Taba/Babena, and Babesa and USD 0.218M for the clinic in Debsi.

A satellite clinic will also be constructed in Phuentsholing for which ADB has granted USD 0.194M.

“The construction works will begin soon after the completion of the blueprint,” Lyonpo said.

Health officials said that the satellite clinic will be built using the green hospital concept and service will be provisioned as per the BHU I standard.

Lyonpo said that the strategy is to decongest hospitals that are seeing large number of patients. The locations of the satellite clinics were based on the patient load and also to improve accessibility of health services to people. “Our goal is to provide people-centred quality and comprehensive health services.”

Dechen Tshomo