Photo Courtesy (Ministry of Health facebook page)

Health flagship sets sail

After numerous deliberations, the health flagship was finalised yesterday at the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO). This enables the government to take diagnostic services to the people through three identified programs- cervical cancer, breast cancer and stomach cancer.

The program will also be looking into secondary level of health services, where rural homes can expect health workers at their doorsteps for routine tests. The initiation is part of the health flagship plan which looks to intensify the fight against Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs) and early detection of cervical and stomach cancers. This also helps to address one of the biggest challenges for people living in rural areas in availing themselves of common health services.

During the meeting, plans were discussed as to how they could be carried out, considering the cost implications and how such factions could render services, under the flagship in more effective ways.

Throughout the session, different aspects of health procurement areas and the need for building effective services through proper planning was discussed. The Prime Minister (PM) pointed out that they are working towards initiating a national level workshop with experts and delegates from regions within Asia and others. This is expected to build a stronger impact in terms of personnel training.

PM said, “The national level workshop shall make all relevant stakeholders aware of the activity. It has not been approved as of yet, therefore, the sensitization works haven’t started.”

Ministry of Health (MoH) suggested that the current flagship proposed 8 cytology centers, and if that could be further cut down to 3 centers proposing by a newer developed algorithm. Lyonchhoen added that the current cytology system is not good enough, and even larger centers, like Gelephu face problems in regard to time to do away with the processes.

“Since the current cytology system goes through undue delays, lack of proper communication and the reports are carried informally by health staff, there is a need for a formal system in place for it, which would mean that the treatment can be done faster,” PM added.

“In terms of breast cancer cases, there has been some dilemma regarding the usage of mammogram technology, as the WHO suggests it to be more appropriate for developed countries, nonetheless if cost implications could be met, it is the better choice,” added MoH.

It was discussed during the meeting that the prior focus areas for medical and surgical units is towards gastric cases, but if there are other things that could be done in areas apart from those targeted under the health flagship plan, it could be sought after.

The meeting took notes to identify the centers, people and procurement of the discussed medical equipment. A centralised TA/DA system for those traveling in groups will be made under the flagship plan. 4 vehicles (Hilux) have been proposed for the transportation of the teams, while also discussing on the quality of land cruisers allocated for the ambulances.

“The manpower loss, in terms of the monthly reporting, could also be efficiently handled if focal people were identified and only the equipped personnel could bring up the discussion at the office,” said Prime Minister Dr Lotay Tshering.

The meeting was held in the PMO on 22 November in the presence of members from MoH, GNHC and the local media.

About Abhinaya Chhetri

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