In a goodwill gesture, India has gifted an AIIMS-level hospital to Bhutan with a promise to develop two more healthcare institutes that will be linked to referral hospitals in Thimphu and Mongar respectively.
"Two hospitals will be built at Trashigang and Luentse, which would be linked to the national and regional referral centers in Thimphu and Mongar respectively," official sources said.
They said the national referral centre at Thimphu, is being developed on the lines of the All India Institute of Medical Sciences and comprises a 350-bed hospital, filter clinic, lab, doctors and nurses quarter and internal road.
Last week, India installed a Computerised Tomography (CT) scan and Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) equipment at the national referral centre to speed up medical treatment and significantly reduce diagnostic referrals outside the country.
Earlier, patients in Bhutan spent huge amount of money for medical check up and treatment in India.
"With the CT/MRI equipment being operational, patients could be diagnosed in Bhutan and referred to hospitals in India if required," the sources said.
Bhutanese radiologists and medical staff are being trained to operate the CT/MRI equipment and interpret the images.
The regional referral centre at Mongar is being upgraded to a 150-bed hospital, which would benefit people of seven districts in eastern Bhutan.
The development of these hospitals and construction of medical facilities at Trashigang and Luentse is expected to be completed next year.