Last year, the health ministry committed to provide at least one female health worker in all the 184 Basic Health Unit (BHU) by January 2018.
To fulfill the commitment the ministry issued a transfer order for Health Assistants (HA) to go to BHUs lacking female health assistants.
The ministry initially issued transfer orders for 35 health assistants to the dzongkhags of which 7 were male health assistants.
However, 21 female health assistants appealed the ministry for the reconsideration of their transfer based on various inconveniences. The ministry, however, revoked the transfers of only five whose reason for the reconsideration were based on medical grounds, while those who appealed based on marital ground and family issues were not considered.
Though the appeal was initially not considered, Lyonchen Dasho Tshering Tobgay, said “After personally discussing with ministry’s human resource division and concerned authorities the agreement has been made to reconsider the transfer order since the announcement came too suddenly,” he said. The PM thus made it clear that the order has been put on hold.
He also added that the health human resource guidelines has not been implemented for many years, adding that had the guidelines been implemented way before, all the BHU would have adequate female health assistants.
To meet the requirement of female health workers, Lyonchen added that the health ministry would make arrangements for all the BHUs to ensure occasional access to female health workers periodically for the women in gewogs lacking female health service providers.
Prime Minister said the female health assistants in BHU are very critical for convenient gynecological consultation. “The ministry will soon come up with the schedule where the periodical gynecological clinic will be provided in all the BHUs that don’t have female HAs.”