With the ultrasound facility at Jomotshangkha hospital in Samdrupjongkhar now functional, people do not have to travel to Udalguri, India or Samdrupjongkhar.

Although the hospital received the ultrasound and x-ray machine a year ago, it was left unused because there was no technician to operate it.

The medical officer, Dr Narayan Rizal, said that after the technician arrived at the beginning of this year, the machine had defects. “Experts came and detected the defects and now the ultrasound machine is functional.”

He said that ultrasound services started since April this year and it has benefited lots of people, especially expecting mothers.

The medical officer said having the services in Jomotsangkha helped since patients usually go to Udalguri, India, to do ultrasound and x-ray. “People do not have to go there anymore.”

He said ultrasound can help diagnose chronic kidney disease and pathology, thereby reducing referrals. “I can now consult with a specialist and treat patients here.”

Tashi from Jomotshangkha said it is difficult when patients are referred to India since they have to stand in a queue and also pay money. “Having ultrasound and x-ray would benefit us.”

Meanwhile, Dr Narayan said they are waiting for some components of the x-ray machine. “The x-ray machine is expected to be functional from July this year.”

He said the officials are corresponding with ministry officials and they might procure x-ray components from other hospitals.

He also said the hospital now needs an electrocardiography (ECG) to detect the heart conditions and beats. “We appraised concerned authorities and officials at the ministry and they are looking at it.”

Kelzang Wangchuk |  Jomotshangkha