The Bhutan Medical and Health Council ( BMHC ) determined that the negligences of 3 doctors and 3 nurses at the premier Thimphu Referral Hospital caused death of a surgery patient. A young man in his 30s died after surgery due to lack of proper medical attention. Few months back the same hospital lost several newborns at a go. The blame was conveniently put on water supply quality as if new borns are given water to drink especially if born a little premature. ( courtesy Kuensel ).
The negilgence is too common to be blamed on just respective individuals. The illness seems to run through out the system. There have been also rumours about cases of wrong diagnosis and even botched operations that ultimately caused death of patients. Well I guess certain percentages of fallouts occur even in best of hospitals. Not every patient can be cured. Death is part of heath services because healthy people do not seek medical treatment. Thats why death certificates are usually issued by Hospitals and recognised by concerned agencies including insurance companies. But the frequency is worrying. And negligence in such manner is alarming.
All 3 doctors and 3 nurses failed the same patient. That means other patients survived not because of attentions given by these same doctors and nurses. An indication of robotic attendance of duties as per roster but devoid of any professional sense of duty and responsibility. There has to be a more malignant root cause for such glaring shortcomings than just simply dereliction of duties by few professionals. I also wonder about the attitude of the surgeon who operated the patient, towards his fellow professional colleagues whose follow up services are equally vital for the good health of the surgery patient.
Maybe the present system of management introduced by the last government should be re-examined. Better go back to the original management ways. And appoint a worthy senior medical professional at the top in place of political appointees. No disrespect to present President Dasho Lhab Dorji. I am sure he must be doing the best possible. But just as it is said that it takes a thief to catch a thief perhaps a professional Chief can alleviate this malady in medical services.
Another suggestion would be to route all VIP medical services through the management instead of direct contact with individual doctors. VIPs must be attended but by any qualied doctor not just specific doctor or nurse which could be creating a class category among similar able professionals.. That way work load is evenly distributed as well as social recognition. Also this will prevent doctors taking leave from regular duty on pretext of phatom VIP services.
In our social environment, there are also cases of as the proverb goes " the yak hauls the load and the yak herder howls off the triump of achievement ". Credit must go to all those doctors and staffs who keep the hospital running efficiently not just to few who attend to VIPs or perform in public eyes. The National Referral Hospital seems to be afflicted with low morale which is usually associated with dis-satisfaction with work environment, unequal opportunity and lack of recognition of hard work. Not about monetary benefits such as salary that most people, I think, wrongly also associate with teaching quality or teacher retention. Money is important but in my career as a CEO, inspiration and motivation have lots to do with management fairness and due recognition of individual endeavours. Not just how much you can pay. Also one person upmanship does not build a successul and dedicated team. And most task are of team work nature especially in the hospital. Its not like a court room where one judge is liable for a good or bad verdict.
Sorry about such unfortunate failures. But we must keep in mind that there are also many, many success stories at the Thimphu Referral Hospital but not highlighted. Afterall, butchers killing cows do not make news except for holier than thou pretenders of piety in public. And likewise, doctors curing patients, too, are taken for granted as it is their profession though by saving a life a doctor would have prevented the bereavement of a family and perhaps changed for better the fortune of a family, too. Thus actually saving multiple of lives through curing one patient.
Thank you doctors and nurses and all related but working behind the scenes at Thimphu Referral Hospital. Your services are appreciated but our expectations are also higher because of your success ratio.