The precarious primary health centre of Merak

The precarious primary health centre of Merak

Residents continue to wait as the construction of the new structure is not yet complete

Availing primary healthcare services from the health centre of Merak Gewog in Trashigang has become risky for the highlanders of one of the remotest gewogs in the far east of the country.

The health facility has developed cracks and it is on the verge of collapse.

Residents say they are in need of a new structure soon as the old one is not accessible and it is costly to visit Trashigang hospital.

According to a few residents, the construction work for the new primary health centre is on halt due to an alleged corrupt practice. The construction works on the new structure were suspended for more than four years as the construction failed to meet the deadline.

According to a source, the contractor is sued for an alleged corrupt practice and the case is still on trial at the Trashigang District Court.

Meanwhile, the residents of Merak are waiting for construction works to resume and have the new structure completed soon. The new structure is located near the existing health centre. While the works for the exterior structure are complete, works like electrical wiring, inner wall plastering and window framing are incomplete as of now.

Some residents still use the old health centre though it is about to collapse.

The Mangmi of Merak Gewog, Tashi Dorji said, “For delivery cases in Merak, people visit the Trashigang district hospital as it is risky for patients to get admitted here at the BHU as the structure is old and it could collapse if there is an earthquake.”

He said the old health centre is in poor condition and the walls are about to collapse.

According to the Mangmi, if a patient gets admitted then there will not be enough space at the old heath centre for the patient. Everyone in Merak continues to wait for the new structure as it will help them save money and time.

“We never know what will happen in the time of emergency and with a new structure it will be a great help,” he said, adding that Merak is in need of a new health centre, which will not only help everyone but it will also save lives.

“Last year, a patient was airlifted from here, and in the future, we never know a proper health unit could save a life,” he added.

A resident from Merak, Tshering said Merak is in need of a new health structure as the current one could collapse anytime if an earthquake takes place.

Another resident, Tashi said it is costly to visit the Trashigang District Hospital and in times of an emergency it will be difficult for the residents to rush towards the hospital.

He said everyone is looking forward to construction resuming and getting it complete soon.

Sonam Tashi from Trashigang