His Majesty The King awarded the Druk Thuksey to Bhutan Emergency Aeromedical Retrieval and Bhutan Helicopter Services Limited.
Bhutan Emergency Aeromedical Retrieval
The Druk Thuksey is conferred to the Bhutan Emergency Aeromedical Retrieval Team (BEAR) in recognition of its exceptional service to the Nation by bringing emergency medical services to the people in any part of the country and saving numerous lives.
BEAR was conceptualized in October 2016 by the medical staff working at the Emergency Department of the Jigme Dorji Wangchuck National Referral Hospital recognizing that numerous lives could be saved if a specialized team could reach the patients and deliver prompt and critical medical care on time.
BEAR team is the first and only specialized team in the country trained in aeromedical retrievals.
It has been responding to the medical needs of critical patients on a daily basis. Since 2017, it has carried out over 640 operations, flying to some of the most inaccessible parts of the country, and has saved numerous lives with their timely care.
BEAR received the Druk Thuksey for rescuing and saving people’s lives as well as providing services to the country. The small group consists of doctors, retrieval nurses, and emergency medical staff who respond to emergencies at a moment’s notice. They deliver immediate treatment in the field and in the air, evacuating patients to the nearest hospital.
The Head of Operation of BEAR, Lhap Dorji shared, “In 2016, around October, we had a young boy who had fallen from a five-story building and succumbed to his injuries while being transported to JDWNRH by ambulance. If we had taken ICU level care in that area, such as Trashigang, the boy might have turned out differently, and thus the BEAR was born. And we never expected His Majesty to bestow this honor on us; we are humbled.”
He said that it means a lot to the institution, not just to BEAR, but to all the health workers, front liner, and especially health workers who have been assisting them.
“This award is for the health fraternity; we represent the entire health fraternity, and everyone should be proud of themselves. We would like to rededicate ourselves to Tsa Wa Sum henceforth. We will put forth extra effort in order to improve,” he said.
Bhutan Helicopter Services Limited
The Druk Thuksey is conferred to the Royal Bhutan Helicopter Services (RBHSL) in recognition of its exceptional service to the Nation since its inception and especially during the pandemic. It made critical medical care accessible to every Bhutanese and facilitated the nationwide distribution of COVID-19 vaccines.
Royal Bhutan Helicopter Services Limited was established on 9 July 2015. Its commercial operations commenced in November that year coinciding with the 60th Birth Anniversary of His Majesty the Fourth Druk Gyalpo.
RBHSL operates a fleet of two H130 Airbus helicopters and employs 40 staff. It operates the HELI Emergency Services which include Emergency Medical Services, Firefighting and Casualty evacuations, and the HELI Charter Services for passenger and cargo transport.
Bhutan Helicopter Services Limited was also awarded the Druk Thuksey by His Majesty for their assistance and evacuation.
Chief Executive Officer, Tshewang Gyeltshen said that the company is extremely humbled to receive an award from His Majesty on this auspicious day.
“It is a tremendous honor for a company. It clearly shows that what we have worked hard for the past almost six years has been recognized by His Majesty, and we are very proud of that. In fact, with today’s award, I believe we will need to work even harder in the future because we will need to maintain the same standard as in the past. It will be a great morale booster for our employees to work hard and serve our country, His Majesty, and the Tsa-Wa-Sum,” he said.