JDWNRH does not lose any doctors from December to February

The latest three-month from December 2023 to February 2024 report reveals a remarkable statistic: zero doctors have left their position at the Jigme Dorji Wangchuck National Referral Hospital (JDWNRH).

The report indicates development in the retention of experienced healthcare professionals, and brings hope to the ongoing challenges in Bhutan’s healthcare sector. 

Health Minister Tandin Wangchuk’s stressed on the importance of JDWNRH, as the referral hospital, and its key role in providing excellent healthcare to patients from across the nation. This achievement imparts hope for patients in remote areas who rely on JDWNRH for specialized medical treatment.

While this achievement reflects the government’s dedication to prioritizing the nation’s health services, it also highlights the ongoing doctor shortages afflicting other parts of the country.

In the previous years, there was a concern about the decline in the retention of experienced physicians at JDWNRH, one of them being the only Rheumatologist (a physician of internal medicine) in the hospital, and the only alternative left for the patient for this to be referred to hospitals abroad.

The loss of experienced professionals not only affects patient care, but also obstructs the mentoring and development of future healthcare professionals as they bring not just knowledge, but also wisdom gained through years of practice.

Their guidance helps shape the future of medicine, ensuring that upcoming generations of doctors are provided not just with technical skills, but also with humanistic values in providing services.

While the government is struggling to retain and recruit doctors, most recent updates show the public’s concern over how the doctors in their gewogs and dzongkhags have gone for further studies or resigned, providing them with services that have no quality.

The loss of experienced doctors in other regions, particularly in rural areas and district hospitals, continues to impact patient access to treatment.

Longer wait times for appointments, delays in diagnoses, and challenges in accessing specialist care are some of the obstacles patients now face.

For those with chronic conditions or complex medical needs, the absence of experienced doctors, especially in the gewog and dzongkhag hospitals has been said to even worsen patient’s health.

Despite the positive news from JDWNRH, the broader issue of doctor shortages continues in Bhutan.

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