People in Sarpang and nearby districts will no longer have to travel to Thimphu to avail themselves of the Immigration Medical Examination or IME services. This comes after the Australian government successfully enlisted Gelephu hospital as one of two hospitals to provide the service. The other hospital is the Monggar Regional Referral hospital. An Immigration Medical Examination or IME is one of the prerequisites while applying for an Australian visa. The Gelephu hospital started offering the service yesterday.
The first day saw a good number of people coming to avail themselves of the service. More than 50 people have registered for the Immigration Medical Examination or IME services at the Gelephu Hospital.
The introduction of the service has reduced waiting time for applicants requiring health screening and eased public inconveniences.
The National Referral Hospital in Thimphu was the lone immigration medical examination service provider in the country to date.
“In Thimphu, it takes two weeks to avail of the service. But we can avail the same service within a short time here,” said Kinley Dorji, a resident of Gelephu.
“We had to travel to Thimphu for the service. Firstly, for people like us, it’s a huge expense to travel to Thimphu. In addition, we don’t get an appointment easily and have to be a guest in someone’s house. But with the service now available in the Gelephu hospital, we are immensely grateful,” said Shekhar Rai, another resident.
According to the Gelephu Hospital, it will provide health examinations to eight people a day for now. And the service will be available on weekdays from 3 to 6 PM. The hospital will charge Nu 1,500 per person for the medical examination.
As of today, 18 panel physicians and seven radiologists have been enlisted in the country to provide IME services at the three referral hospitals. The health ministry awaits the enrollment of more physicians in the coming days.
According to the Australian government, people applying for an Australian visa will require a medical certificate approved by a recognised physician by the Australian government.
Karma Wangdi, Sarpang
Edited by Sonam Pem
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