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Appointment system a ‘no show’

Six more departments will start appointment system by September this year

Six months since the appointment system at Jigme Dorji Wangchuck National Referral Hospital (JDWNRH) started and it has gained little popularity.

People did not turn up for their appointments after making one for the day.

Talking to Business Bhutan, the Medical Superintendent of JDWNRH, Dr. Gosar Pemba, said that a lot of people miss their appointments and come at odd hours.

“People still not being familiar with the appointment system may be one of the reasons,” he said. “We are reviewing and explaining to people how the appointment system works.”

On the other hand, the Deputy Chief of Quality Assurance and Standardization Division (QASD) at JDWNRH, Jigme Choden, said that in a recent study done on the appointment system for the three departments, Gynecology department, ENT department and medical department, the QASD found out that 20% of the appointments are no show. It means that in a day, about 10 people miss their appointments.

“Though the waiting time has drastically decreased due to the appointment system, there are still a few things that need to be worked on,” she said. She also said that they are looking at how to deal with no shows.

For now, Jigme Choden said that when there is a no show, the person after gets the appointment early, however, the person who did not show earlier tends to barge in, which makes it impossible to handle.

“Since it is the pilot phase right now, people have not fully adjusted to the appointment system, however, once the appointment system sets in, the people who miss their appointments will not get appointments for another two or three days. “People need to be made accountable,” she said.

She also said that if they are going to miss their appointment, they have to make a call and cancel their appointment so that their slot can be given to someone else.

According to Dr. Gosar Pemba, it might take more than a year for people to adjust to the appointment system; however, JDWNRH is planning to go full on with the appointment system in the future.

For now, six more departments will be starting the appointment system by this September.

Of the 13 departments at JDWNRH, three already started the appointment system in March this year. In September, six more departments will have started the appointment system. However, four departments will not have appointment system for the time being.

Jigme Choden said that the four departments: community health department, general OPD, Pediatric department and forensic department, will run as it is as they do not take more than seven minutes per patient.

“General OPD needs to be kept as it is as the spill overs from the medical or other departments are being sent to the General OPD,” she said.

Lucky Wangmo from Thimphu