Defunct ultrasound, no doctor in Bhutan's Dagapela hospital

DAGANA, Bhutan (Kuensel/ANN) - Since more than two months the ultrasound machine in Dagapela hospital, Dagana district, has been broken down. 

It has been more than two months since the ultrasound machine in Dagapela hospital, Dagana district, broke down. 

One of the residents, Lobzang, said that the ultrasound room was locked as no services relating to ultrasound were provided when he went to avail one yesterday. “Many people are awaiting the service, it has been a few months now.”

Another resident, Pema Dorji, said that he went to the hospital with his wife for a check up. “It was frustrating and the hospital is also without a doctor for a long time now.”

He said that it has become a concern mainly for those who cannot afford to travel to avail of the services elsewhere. 

Tashiding Tshogpa DB Goley, said that people had been sharing grievances about not being able to access the service. He said that last Friday a pregnant woman accompanied by her husband went to the hospital only to return disappointed.

“They do not even own phones. They were referred to go to the nearest hospital that is in Damphu, Tsirang. It seems unlikely that they would be able to visit.”

Dzongkhag health officer, Dorji Wangchuk, said that it was  taking time because one of the parts of the machine broke down and the spare part was not available in the country. “The machine will be maintained at the earliest possible.”

Procuring the spare part is expected to take some time, according to the dzongkhag health officer. 

The hospital’s ultrasonographer, Jamyang Thinley, said that the trackball of machine malfunctioned, which made it difficult to calculate the gestational age, foetal weight, and to measure the size of organs, among others. “The keyboard also displayed the alphabet N repeatedly.”

He said that the hospital administration wrote two letters regarding the ultrasound maintenance. “It would at least take a month more to do the repairs.”

It was learnt that a portable annual indent, which is similar to ultrasound, was approved recently.

Jamyang Thinley said that after the machine is delivered to the hospital, the ultrasound services would resume.

Meanwhile, the dzongkhag is also without a doctor since the temporary doctor placed at the hospital left on November 18.

It was learnt that the second temporary doctor who came from Punakha returned after Punakha district hospital faced doctor shortage.

Dorji Wangchuk said that the district hospital would receive a permanent doctor by next month. It was learnt that the temporary doctor including the doctor at BHU I were provided with Nu 1,500 per day as daily allowance. 

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