English | Dzongkha Friday, October 20, 2017

Volunteers help patients at the national referral hospital


Aug 23, 2011

The national referral hospital is huge. It is cavernous. For the patients many of whom come from rural areas and are illiterate, finding their way around is difficult, if not impossible. Now help is at hand.

Several women are working as volunteers at the hospital. They guide the patients, showing them where to go for conducting the various medical tests, directing them to the right doctor’s chamber or collecting their medicines.

The volunteers are mostly housewives or former nurses. For easy identification, they don a white Pangtse half coat.

Ugyen Dema, one of the volunteers, decided to help because “the population is growing, the hospital has expanded but it is understaffed.”

“Even though I am an-ex health worker, we get lost in the hospital.”

Their helping hand is much appreciated. For many patients, who appear lost, they are godsend.

Tshering Zam has come all the way from Paro. “Since we come from the village, we don’t know where to go. The volunteers are a big help to us,” she said.

Sithu, another patient, was visiting the national referral hospital for the first time. She said “since we can’t read, we can’t find our way around the many chambers and corridors.”

According to Kencho Dorji, the Assistant Public Relations Officer, “the volunteers help manage the crowd during the morning peak hour. We have only four to five volunteers coming in a day. Hopefully more will join in.”

The volunteers are members of the Charo Volunteer Service which is also planning to organise fund raising activities for the development of health facilities.

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