Trucker admitted in Siliguri hospital to be brought home

THIMPHU (Kuensel/ANN) - Jigme Dorji Wangchuck National Referral Hospital (JDWNRH) in Thimphu is preparing to bring back a Bhutanese driver who is at the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) in Agrasen Hospital in Fulbari, Siliguri, India.

Jigme Dorji Wangchuck National Referral Hospital (JDWNRH) in Thimphu is preparing to bring back a Bhutanese driver who is at the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) in Agrasen Hospital in Fulbari, Siliguri, India. 

The 46-year-old man from Bidung in Trashigang was admitted at the hospital after he was hit by a speeding bike on September 29 when he was crossing the highway at Fulbari. He worked for a transport company in Phuentsholing.

More than 500 trucks carrying boulders from Phuentsholing, Samtse and Gomtu ply the Indian highway.

The victim’s family requested the health ministry for support to pay the hospital bill which has crossed Nu 1.3 million (US$ 18,309). The health ministry forwarded the letter to the national referral hospital’s Medical Superintendent, Dr Gosar Pemba.

Dr Gosar Pemba said the patient suffered a head injury and fractured his hands and legs. Earlier he was on a ventilator and could not be removed so he was kept in the hospital.

“Now that he is off the machine, the hospital will send an ambulance and a team of health staff to bring him back, who is still in a coma, and admit at the ICU in JDWNRH.

“But, first we have to clear more than 50 percent of the treatment bill, which comes to around Nu 800,000 (US$ 11,267). Only then, they will discharge the patient,” he said. 

Dr Gosar Pemba said that the government is paying for it because it is an emergency case. “When a person on pilgrimage to India falls sick and requires emergency treatment for an illness like appendicitis or heart attack, the government pays for it after verification.” 

Fulbari is an Indian town that borders with the Bangladesh town of Banglabandha. Bhutanese boulders are exported to Bangladesh from Fulbari, which is 160km away from Phuentsholing. 

This is the second incident involving a Bhutanese driver in Fulbari. 

In another incident on September 23, a Bhutanese truck driver ferrying boulder to Bangladesh had hit a local man at Fulbari. An angry mob then assaulted some Bhutanese drivers and damaged windshields and windows of 35 boulder-carrying trucks.

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