Painful solutions

I couldn’t sleep well last night. I shivered and shook, and tossed and turned as powerful antibiotics tried to fight off an infection and a growing fever. I’m a lot better now. But my whole body aches. I feel drowsy. And I spent most of the day in bed.

The cause of my misery is my tooth. Yes, it’s the same one that I treated about three months ago. This time the dentist, Dr Pratap Tamang, a veteran, examined my tooth, ordered an x-ray and decided that, if I wanted to save the painful tooth, he would have to administer a root canal treatment.

“Shouldn’t we just extract it?” I suggested. “No!” Dr Tamang decided firmly, “the opposite tooth is good, so you should undergo an RCT”.

Images of my son – then only 13 years old – enduring the painful ordeal flashed in my mind. And I thought, “Why me?” But those same images of a brave young man readily agreeing to take to the dentist’s intimidating chair, many times over a whole month, reassured me. So I agreed.

Dr Thapa opened his appointment book. He flipped page after completely booked page, and announced that he would be able to start my treatment only after three weeks. I’d have to wait before I undertook the infamous ordeal.

In order to avoid the normal morning rush, I’d gone to the dentist a little before their closing time, 2:30 PM. As expected the hospital was almost empty by then. Nurses, technicians and doctors were making their way out of the hospital to meetings, to their homes or to attend to personal work. And by the time I left, the cleaning staff were already preparing the hospital for the next day.

This is a waste of resources. Especially, since the demand for health services in the capital is still growing and growing exponentially. So, I’m glad that the government is seriously considering ways to extend the hospital time by starting “off hour clinics”. But we continue to be plagued by a shortage of health personnel. And we cannot expect our professionals to work beyond their normal working hours without adequate incentives. So we need to recruit more people. Or we simply pay the existing staff for working after hours.

This, obviously, is easier said than done. A patient’s treatment involves a whole range of health professionals from doctors and nurses to technicians and administrative staff. And, of course, cleaners. So calculating who should get what and how much will not be easy.

But we must make a beginning. And the dental department, which is mostly independent from the rest of the hospital, is a good place to start. Lessons learnt from there will be useful if and when we develop a hospital-wide system.

Off hour clinics, whether fully subsidized by the government, partially privatized or fully privatized, need to be seriously considered.

I don’t want to wait so long for the root canal treatment. And I certainly don’t want to bear another tooth ache before the treatment. So, right now, I am in the mood to welcome an off hour clinic for the dental department.


Facebook Comments:


  1. Get well soon Lynpola.

  2. 🙂 I guess it takes a politician to figure out issues even when in serious pain! Sorry to hear about your toothache,la. Personally i think that is the worst thing to have…my sympathies.

  3. Thinley Penjore says

    Lyonpo, you may visit Imtrat hospital as they have good dental service too if you have to wait for so long. In that way, you can also share your experience of the kind of treatment you receive from there. Food for thought.

  4. More than wish lyonpo well – I would like to also address that we have a problem at the JDWNR hospital as far as the expected service is concerned. I am withut a doubt grateful for our free availability of medical services. But alas we tke that for granted from the service providers side as well as from the service receivers side. How many stories (I dont have to share) of our dissatisfaction about certain hospital services have surfaced and how many concerned authorities paid attention to it. The ratio of patients and hospital service providers are now going out of proportion or atleast it seem to be that way. We either need to employ more of we need to privatize some services (certain health departments)so that the pressure is eased on teh government facility.

    Have anyone visited some hospital cabins lately where we actually pay to avail that preferred facility. The so called convenience cabin is infested with small cokroaches running all over the walls, floors, bathrooms, beds, over the patients – you name it – they are everywhere. LYONPO SANGEY NGEDUP DID A GREAT JOB UNDER HIS ADMINISTRATION TO KEEP THE HOSPITAL PREMISES ABSOLUTELY CLEAN. Now things are different – I am saddend by the sight and plight of the current cleanliness of the hospital. THE NEW HOSPITAL BUILDING WAS INAUGURATED BUT IT REMAINS TO BE USED YET. WHATS WITH THAT????


  5. hear hear folks

  6. some one rightly said that “there are two greatest pain in the world,first being the labour pain and the next tooth ache”…so lyonpola toothache is just secondary..imagine the first if u ever had to go

  7. I feel so sorry for lyenpo….. for lyenpo had the pain again in that same tooth.I was expecting that might happen because the caries in that tooth was so deep and some such cases do give the problem again even after a filling. And its a good decision lyenpo took, to go for a root canal in that tooth. I hope that lyenpo had been told that he should be going for a crown for that same tooth later on because a root canal treated tooth should have a crown so that it will be in function for longer than a tooth with just a root canal.
    And abt the off hour clinic….i should say its right time we should go ahead and that too to start with the dental dept. Its because people demand to be treated in the best way but we don’t have the time to do so… because every day we are seeing more than 50 patients and for every patient we have to do something with our own hand as well as write the priscription for them.

    • Dear Kuns: thanks for your advice. will get crown for my tooth soon. also, we discussed private and off hour clinics in the last National Assembly session, and the Health Minister promised to start off hour clinics soon. I think that’s good news. TT

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