Of the three anaesthesia machines at Mongar Regional Referral Hospital (MRRH), two have broken down while the third one, a semi-functional machine is for now still working, health officials said.

The anaesthesia machine is used to support the administration of anaesthesia during surgeries.

Medical superintendent Dr Pelden Wangchuk said that as soon as the anaesthesia staff reported the problem, the hospital reported the case to Department of Health for immediate support. The semi functional machine is also reported to have high chances of breaking down.

All machines are imported from abroad and a minor repair requires the service of an engineer, he said.

According to the administration officials, an anaesthesia machine was mobilised from Dewathang hospital in Samdrupjongkhar in 2015 and another from Pemagatshel dzongkhag hospital in 2016.

According to anaesthetist Tashi Tobgay, the hospital is only using the semi-functional machine. He said it gives problems with the oxygen sensor failing, ventilator problem and frequent system leakage.

General surgeon Sonam Tshering said they would not be able to do much without the anaesthesia machine if the patient is serious and that they would have to refer patients to JDWNRH.

The hospital had requested for new anaesthesia machines  a couple of years ago but has not yet received them, health officials said.

Tashi Phuntsho | Mongar