“Our daughter died because of lack of medicines”: Parents

A 22-year-old heart patient died on her way to the Monggar Regional Referral Hospital yesterday. The parents of the deceased blamed the hospital for not having required drugs in the hospital.

The deceased was a heart patient and had undergone a major surgery of valve replacement in India in 2008. Since then she had to take medicines every day and have her blood tested every month to prevent the blood from thickening. For that a drug called acitrome and INR reagent is essential. The hospital ran out of acitrome two months ago and the supply of INR reagent has been very erratic.

“We came here before but when we reached here there was no medicine and another time we took a cab and came but there was still no medicine,” said the father of the deceased.

The father confidently said that it was because of the lack of medicine. “When she did not take the medicine she would cough a lot and some blood would come out.”

The Mongar Hospital does not have more than 50 different types of vital and essential drugs. The deceased is a patient of Dr.Kezang Namgyal. “She had not been able to get her medicines. Sometimes we have medicines but we do not have the reagent so it’s been a problem.”

He, however, said that he cannot really confirm that she died because of lack medicines as she brought dead. But, he did admit that the problem of drug shortage has been going on for some time. “There are no medicines and some reagents. We have lot of patients like her and their treatments have been really erratic. Sometime they have and sometimes there is no medicine. It is not allowed to sell in the market, we tell them to buy but they say it is not available in the market and it is a problem.”

M.S. Rai is another heart patient who has undergone a valve replacement surgery in India. All the six eastern Dzongkhags depend Monggar Hospital for all kinds of cardiac diseases. In order to get his medicine and blood test done on time, he requested for a transfer to Monggar from Trashigang.  He has been granted the transfer but is worried since he could not do the blood test this month as the hospital does not have the INR reagent.

“I am a heart patient and I am very much worried,” he said. “I have friend with similar condition and we have to share medicine. I am very worried for all of us, if it continues in future.”

When the medicines are not available in the hospital, he takes leave from the office and travel to India to get the medicine.

Meanwhile, the officials from the Health Ministry said that they have to first establish the fact. They said that they would give a press conference tomorrow.

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