The lone female minister in the Cabinet is hopeful to contribute largely to the health ministry, given her years of experience in public health and social development.
On her list of things to do immediately, Lyonpo Dechen Wangmo plans to review the reports and consult with the team regarding the matters in the ministry. “I hope to work together as a team to achieve the intended goal and mission of the ministry based on which,we as a team, will identify the importance.”
What she hopes will set her apart from the past health ministers is heropenness to innovation. “We really want to look at innovative ways of looking into the health matters,and not to do business as usual.”She added thatbeing a minister for health is a milestone in her career, and is confident to bring about significant developments in the health system.
Lyonpo plans to look into the accessibility of health services to people. She said that despite free health care, inequity in health services is a growing concern.
“Access to quality health care will be there, while we will have to review staff strength in all health centers, weigh it against patient load and ensure that we have enough doctors, nurses and medical staff to meet patients’ needs.”
Towards achieving the goal of accessibility, the ministry plans to establish a separate multi-disciplinary super specialty hospital to cater to all out-country referrals and institute mechanisms to ensure access to specialist services at gewog level, including deployment of medical doctor and ambulance services. Upgrading the strategic hospitals to enable every citizens to get specialist services within half-day travel time would also be done.
“Five years from now, we look forward to a healthier and happier nation,” said the new health minister. “I’m confident that we will be able to achieve it as we already have a hardworking and good team.”