Coinciding with Her Majesty the Gyaltsuen’s 31st birth anniversary on 4 June, the Salang Tendrel for the 65-bedded Gyaltsuen Jetsun Pema Mother and Child Hospital in Mongar was held this week.
The hospital is a tribute to Her Majesty who showers love and care particularly women, children, and vulnerable sections of the society and for championing just and humane causes in the country.
The press release from the Indian Embassy states that the state of the art hospital would provide regular and specialized health care services related to Mothers and Children from Mongar, Trashigang, Pemagatshel, Trashi Yangtse, Lhuentse, Samdrup Jongkhar and Bumthang Dzongkhag. The hospital would be equipped with advanced medical equipment’s for Intensive Care Units and Operation Units. The new Mother and Child hospital would consist of Obstetrics and Gynecology Department, Pediatrics and Neonatology Department, Intensive care units (Paediatrics and Neonate), Emergency and Trauma center, Operation theatres, Specialized services, Laboratory Unit and Community Health Unit.
This is a major milestone for narrowing the gap in the provision of health services. The newly launched project is an expansion of the royal guesthouse which was gifted to the Ministry of Health by His Majesty The King.
According to the press release from the Prime Minister’s Office, “The wings of empathy spread on this auspicious day. The noble initiative of Her Majesty The Gyaltsuen to secure the health of our women and children takes flight from Gyaltsuen Jetsun Pema Mother and Child Hospital in Thimphu to eastern region this time.”
This time, it is Her Majesty’s gracious act to empower women and children through quality and equitable access to healthcare and services, states the release.
Prime Minister Dr Lotay Tshering said that it is unprecedented and an extraordinary gift, where the zimchung (royal guest house) is being converted into a super-specialty hospital.
“It is not just a hospital but one that takes care of human beings from day one of life,” he said. “What else can be better than being born in such a blessed facility?”
The new hospital would bring the subspecialty aspects of obstetrics and gynecological services out of Thimphu to all seven eastern districts, bestowing immense benefit to the rural folks who need not travel long, painful hours to the capital.
The press release further states that this would be the first hospital built on green and renewable concepts, while encompassing the patient-friendly, restorative ambience. Besides the infrastructure development, planning and procuring works for equipment and manpower are all underway.
“I would like to offer my sincere gratitude to Her Majesty for the personal delight to see the commencement of the project in my second home in the country,” Prime Minister, who spent almost four years in Mongar, said.
He recalls the view of the present site as a gentle slope covered in pine trees and had least expected the transformation.
“Our women and children suffer in want of basic services in this modern age, and this blessing from Her Majesty will touch thousands of lives for generations,” he said. “Once up and running, the only patients that will come out of the hospital will be those on referral outside the country.”
According to the ministry, under the guidance of Minister for Health, Dasho Dechen Wangmo, this would be the first ever hospital to be using a green and sustainable design and the concept of ‘hospital with no harms’.
The hospital is being funded at a cost of Nu 681-million through Government of India’s (GoI’s) Project Tied Assistance for the 12th Five Year Plan of Bhutan. GoI is providing support to the tune of Nu 4.09-billion for Bhutan’s health sector for the 12th Five Year Plan. This includes the constructions of the 40 bedded Deothang Hospital, 150 bedded Mother and Child Hospital in Thimphu, 20 bedded Dechencholing Hospital, 20 bedded Nganglam Hospital, and the 20 bedded hospital at Tashichoeling in Samtse. Apart from this, GoI is also providing support to the Vector Borne Disease Control Program, Health Flagship Program and the program for procurement of medical equipments for the Jigme Dorji Wangchuck National Referral Hospital.
Meanwhile, to help Bhutan mitigate the effects of Covid-19, India has provided support to Bhutan through the supply of Covid-19 relief material including PPE Kits, N-95 Masks, RT-PCR Test Kits, Essential Medicines and Vaccines. In May 2021, Six Portable X-Ray Machines were gifted by India to Bhutan. India is also collaborating with Bhutan for strengthening clinical trial research capacity. India’s support to the health sector of Bhutan is a reflection of the special bonds of trust and understanding between India and Bhutan that have existed over decades. Going forward, India will continue to extend all possible support to Bhutan to minimize the health and economic impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.