Patients redirected as National Referral Hospital’s CT scan machine remains down

The lone Computed Tomography, CT scan machine at the National Referral Hospital has been down for quite some time now. The hospital administration said the machine broke down on the 9th of last month. Almost one and a half months after the breakdown, it has yet to be fixed. Patients are being referred to hospitals in Gelephu and Samtse for the service. The X-ray tube of the CT scan machine has broken leading to the malfunction.

Patients in Thimphu who refused to come on camera expressed their frustration and disappointment over being referred to another hospital after coming to seek the service at the national referral hospital.

The Gelephu Central Regional Referral Hospital started providing CT scan services to the patients referred from Thimphu form 14th February.

“There is a CT scan service at Monggar too but since Gelephu is closer, people prefer to come here. We usually scan five patients per day. But now since many people come here, it has increased to nine. The problem here is that the CT scan equipment heats up while scanning. So we let it cool down and this takes about 15 to 20 minutes, delaying the service,” said Choeda Gyamtsho, medical superintendent at Gelephu Central Regional Referral Hospital.

He added that appointments for CT scan service at the hospital are booked till next month. Similarly, the Samtse General Hospital has also received more than 30 referral cases from Thimphu.

“Due to the long journey from Thimphu to Samtse, we are experiencing difficulties in tending to our sick family members. Additionally, Samtse is a completely new place for me. It would greatly benefit us if the CT scan service in Thimphu is restored,” said Tshering Yangzom from Samtse.

An official from the National Referral Hospital said that the machine would be fixed upon signing a maintenance contract with the company that supplied the machine. The lone CT scan at the national referral hospital was supplied by an overseas firm. It was installed in 2018 along with the machines in Gelephu and Monggar regional referral hospitals.

The official also said the signing of the contract with the foreign company requires legal vetting of contract terms and conditions from the OAG, indemnity clauses in the contract document require approval from the government.

The CT scan machine at the national referral hospital was installed after spending over Nu 58 M.

CT scans can provide detailed information to diagnose and assess many conditions in patients. Moreover, the detailed images provided by CT scans help eliminate the need for exploratory surgery.

Deki Lhazom

Edited by Kipchu

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