KP Sharma 

The 150-bedded Covid-19 hospital in Trashigang, which was purchased by the government for Nu 160 million, will be used for other purposes, according to Prime Minister Dr Lotay Tshering.

The Prime Minister said that the government would ask the Royal University of Bhutan (RUB) whether Sherubtse College needs the infrastructure for its campus expansion.

“We would be happy to provide the infrastructure if RUB needs it for some purposes,” Lyonchhen said.

Lyonchhen added that the government would also explore setting up a Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) College if it is suitable for the facility. “We are still under discussion to come up with a reliable idea to use the infrastructure in the best way.”

According to the prime minister, he instructed the authorities to distribute the beds which were set up during the pandemic to the nearby hospitals.

The hospital, the prime minister said, was fully equipped with an intensive care unit (ICU) and dialysis facilities when it was turned into a dedicated Covid-19 ward in the east.

He said that there were also suggestions to create space for Class XI and XII from the education ministry but it could not be considered since more than 500 seats were available for Class XI in government schools.

“When there are already empty seats, opening a new school is not justifiable,” he added.

The government purchased the infrastructure of the former Kelki School after it was closed down owing to low student enrollment in 2021.

Later, it was turned into a Covid-19 ward during the pandemic although not a single patient was admitted there.

The health ministry invested approximately Nu 8 million to provide and improve the facilities to a hospital’s standard.

Similarly, the Covid-19 ward at Taba in Thimphu is turned into a formal dental hospital and will house the MBBS programme, according to the prime minister.