Is healthcare going to get better anytime soon in Samtse?
Sonam Phuntsho, SamtseOct 23 2013
Samtse, one of the largest dzongkhags in the country, has just two doctors. Each of them attends to over 70 patients, everyday. When the number of patients visiting the hospital hit 300, which is almost every Monday, many patients are turned away.
Indra Maya Rai, along with her mother-in-law, waits outside the doctor’s chamber for hours. They had left early for the hospital from Sang-Ngag Chhoeling, previously known as Chargharey. It is 35 kilometres away from Samtse.
Determined to see the doctor for once and for all, Indra Maya Rai says she wait no matter how ever long it will take.
Like Indra, Tshering Dema had come from Tendu. This is her second visit to the hospital. She said she couldn’t meet the doctors earlier. “If I can’t meet doctors in early hours, I will miss the bus going to Tendu.” The bus leaves at 2 PM. “It is very difficult to find a lodging here for people like us who come from far-flung places.”
According to the records maintained with the Out Patient Department, Samtse Hospital sees over 150 patients on an average every day.
“If one of us has to attend training or some seminar or emergencies, the workload automatically shifts to my other colleague; so having an additional Medical officer should be alright,” said the medical officer, Dr. Tshering Tamang.
The two medical officers have also been substituting for medical specialists in some cases. They also attend to emergencies in the medical ward.
In the meantime, Indra Maya’s persistence paid off. She did get to see the doctor.