Bringing Sonam home is not in her best interest

Prime Minister Dr Lotay Tshering has clarified that it is not best interest of Sonam Tamang to fly to Bhutan at the current status even if the government can afford to do so.

His statement comes after netizens calls for bringing her home, even if it costs government millions. 

In a statement, he said “for us in the government, ever since we learnt about her, we have never stopped working towards improving the situation. In the wake of many views expressed on social media, with due respect to Sonam and her family, I would like to share my thoughts.”

‘Since September last year, Sonam is on ventilator. For now, the equipment is sustaining her life. Our priority is Sonam and it is in her interest, and the family’s, that she be kept in the hospital that ensures best facilities.’

He said, Japanese medico-legal system will take its due course to complete the formalities to decide on her “brain-dead” status and we have no role in this legal, decision-making process.

Many of us, including the parliament representative of Sonam’s constituency, also suggested bringing her back to Bhutan. Given her condition, commercial plane was not an option. She needs to be flown back on a fully equipped air ambulance, with a team of medical experts, he further added.

“It will cost a few million dollars but as long as that will bring Sonam back to life, this is not an issue for the government. We will go all out to put the money together.”

He said the transfer is critical and anything could happen. He further said, it is in the interest of Sonam Tamang to keep her in Japan with better medical facilities. Bringing her home would not provide similar support.

He said government has been providing continued support for her medical treatment and family travels. According to Dr Tshering, his government arranged travel of two of Sonam’s brothers to travel to Japan and made efforts to employ one of them in there but stringent laws and language incompetency made it impossible.

Dr Tshering said his government is covering 30% costs of Sonam’s treatment while rest is covered by the insurance. He said this support will continue.

“I would like to assure you that the government has never given up on Sonam. I have always been motivated by compassion and kindness, and have spent all my life trying to save lives as far as possible. When I am so passionate about this, how is it even possible to brush aside Sonam’s case?” he said.

“I am in constant touch with the treating physician and should any of the concerned individuals seek to inquire for themselves, we are happy to share the contact details. We know that any Bhutanese, anywhere in the world, is our responsibility.”

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