The need to retain medical specialists is critical due to the number of resignations and retirement due to old age, personal reasons and due to work pressure said the health Minister Lyonpo Tandin Wangchuk. “It’s critical to retain the specialist since our aim is to treat as many patients within the country”
The health minister said that a group comprising of medical specialists and a management team from health ministry and Royal Civil Service Commission (RCSC) were ordered to do a study on the services and difference between other countries and Bhutan to see what else can be done to retain the medical specialists.
One of the main reasons the medical specialist are unhappy is due to significant differences in pay of national and expatriate doctors, despite the extreme workload. Lyonpo Tandin Wangchuk said this contribute to de-motivation to continue working for longer period of time. Currently, all specialists get 40 percent allowance irrespective of their working hours.
However, the challenge for now remains in going by the standards of RCSC and the pay commission. “It cannot be done as everything needs to be reshuffled for all the civil servants and we have go through the same levels like p1 and p2”. “The only changes we can make through RCSC is in allowances but again we need to look at it as a whole as a medical team comprises of nurses and general doctors” he added.
Another solution that came out was that retired specialists can re-join the service with the similar amount paid for expatriates.
In order to fulfill the idea for the retention of the medical specialists, he said the best option is in corporatization so that the process does not have to depend on RCSC and pay commission regulations. “With corporatization, the services will run efficiently” he said.
However he said with the establishment of PG residency course in a country, at least 18 specialists will be produced each year starting from next year after the completion of the 1st batch. There are currently a total of 67 specialists, 10 sub specialist and another 10 super specialists.