All parties pledge to combat attrition in health and education

With many sectors, especially the health and education sectors, facing the rising attrition, all the five political parties are rolling out detailed pledges aimed at tackling the critical issue of attrition.

PDP

PDP takes a comprehensive approach to combat attrition by pledging initiatives that span both education and healthcare. For teachers, the party promises a minimum of 80 hours of annual professional development training, opportunities for study tours, and a rationalized workload to ensure teachers are not overburdened with administrative responsibilities. It will also review the IWP and give Saturdays off.

The party also pledges to enhance programs in MBBS to produce 30 doctors annually and 20 international doctors annually. Recruit retired health personnel to address the shortage of healthcare professionals and Ensure engagement of specialists through incentives to provide e-consultation service.

Under the Job Protection Plan, PDP seeks to change the nature of employment for contract workers to para-regular positions, ensuring equal service conditions and benefits. The establishment of the Khesar Gyalpo University of Medical Sciences of Bhutan (KGUMSB) is a pivotal part of the healthcare strategy, focusing on producing more doctors.

As Bhutanese voters weigh these detailed pledges, the choice they make will significantly impact the course of the nation’s healthcare and education sectors, influencing the well-being of its citizens and the overall development of the country.

DPT

DPT’s healthcare strategy centers around achieving the World Health Organization (WHO) prescribed doctor and nurse ratio. Collaborating with Civil Society Organizations (CSOs), the party aims to develop policies addressing critical societal issues.

They also have a pledge to increase incentives for critically scarce doctors and specialists to retain them depending on the economic situation of the country and the government’s fiscal position.

In education, DPT proposes collaborating with the Ministry of Education and the Royal Civil Service Commission (RCSC) to provide administrative support for teachers, reviewing the relevance and effectiveness of IWP, and promoting a rejuvenating work-life balance by keeping Saturdays off for teachers and students.

DNT

DNT places a strong emphasis on human resource development in both health and education. To address the shortage of health workers, the party pledges to increase the number of health workers and improve the quality of health worker training and education. Retain health workers in workforce by providing competitive salaries and benefits depending on the economic situation of the country and the government’s fiscal position.

In the education, the party is committed to transform school teaching professionals, improve the quality of teacher training, provide teachers with ongoing professional development opportunities, create a more supportive work environment for teachers and also increase the salaries and benefits of teachers depending on the economic situation of the country and the government’s fiscal position.

DTT

DTT is focusing on reducing the attrition rate among civil servants, particularly in the Professional and Management (P&M) category. The party’s strategy involves a comprehensive pay revision and a rationalized remuneration structure. To support civil servants post-service, the party commits to allocating Nu 3 billion as HR Professional Development Grants and promoting affordable housing.

In the education sector, DTT aims to revamp teachers’ IWP by reducing teaching workloads, declaring Saturdays as non-working days, and providing professional development opportunities. The party emphasizes the need for a consultative approach, intending to review policies in collaboration with stakeholders to create a motivated civil service without additional costs to the government.

BTP

To revitalize the healthcare sector, the party pledges to open up career progression for teachers and healthcare professionals by simplifying the conditions required to progress. Furthermore, the party aims to ease the burden on the National Referral Hospital in Thimphu by introducing off-hour clinics and outsourcing select health services. One of the key proposals involves implementing a flexible human resource deployment practice, which includes real-time updates on staff availability, movement, and prompt replacement.

The party is also considering creating a dedicated medical cadre within the civil service or separating medical professionals altogether to address attrition and shortages. Initiatives such as establishing a nursing college, recruiting retired doctors, and introducing flexible shift systems for medical staff underscore the party’s commitment to a holistic and sustainable healthcare strategy.

In the education sector, they propose establishing a Council for Education Reform to modernize education for the 21st century and introduce an Education Bill to empower educators, minimizing political interference. The party emphasizes building teachers’ capacity through local and international professional development programs, aiming to enhance student learning outcomes. BTP advocates for school autonomy and introduces alternative education on Saturdays. Career progression for teachers will be facilitated by easing advancement conditions, and professionals from other fields are encouraged to join the teaching and healthcare sectors. The party also plans to eliminate Individual Work Plans (IWPs) to reduce administrative burdens.

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