A lack of specialists resulting in late diagnosis and prolonged referral procedures have been plaguing the country’s healthcare services for a very long time. These issues, according to the public, need immediate government intervention.
According to the patients BBS spoke to, the increasing crowd at the National Referral Hospital and the subsequent long waiting hours demand a more streamlined and effective service delivery strategy.
“The number of tokens issued is very less compared to the number of patients visiting the hospital. It’s easier for the people residing nearby but it is a waste of time for us who have to travel long distances to be here. I think it would be very convenient if there is an online app for the token so we don’t have to travel to the hospital only to be told that the token is exhausted,” said Nado, a patient from Paro.
Some even suggested that the issue will be addressed only if the government recruit more doctors and healthcare workers.
“Patients have to wait here from as early as 7 AM but the hospital opens only at 9 AM. Then we have to wait in a queue for hours to get a token. Even after we get it, it is very difficult to meet the doctors. I think that it will help solve the problems if the government can now recruit more employees and doctors in the hospital,” said Namgang, a patient from Dagana.
Others who didn’t want to come on camera said the lack of adequate doctors and healthcare workers is delaying the diagnosis and referral of patients requiring advanced treatment abroad.
In addition, some also raised the need for proper infrastructure at the National Referral Hospital including the need to maintain toilets.
“The parking space at the Jigme Dorji Wangchuck National Referral Hospital is very small and inconvenient. It would be better for everyone if the parking can be enlarged. The vehicles are always in a rush in this small area every day,” said Karma Wangchuk, a driver.
According to the health ministry, the attrition rate of health workers stood at 7 to 8 per cent as of October last year. The national referral hospital saw the highest resignation of health workers with almost 12 per cent attrition. The ministry, in October, said it will explore the possibility of recruiting foreign health workers if its attrition rate crosses 10 per cent.
Edited by Phub Gyem