MoH to follow new and appropriate designs for BHU constructions

The Ministry of Health (MoH) will henceforth follow the new design for constructions of Basic Health Units (BHU) across the country in the 11th plan after having found that some of the existing structures are either too small or too big.

MoH has now come up with a third design, the mid-way design between the two.

MoH’s Director General, Department of Medical Services, Dr Ugen Dophu explained that the earlier BHUs across the country were not constructed in accordance to the population size of the dzongkhags.

He said dzongkhag authorities should have looked to see if the structures were in line with the population.

The Director General cited examples of the BHUs at Goenshari in Punakha, Ura in Bumthang, Rangaytung in Chhukha, one at Samdrup Jongkhar and two in Sarpang as being too huge compared to the districts’ population size.

“Now we have designed it mid-way between the two, where room number has been decreased, but a little bigger in size which is adequate enough. And now this is the third design we are circulating,” he added.

The third design, he said has been identified perfect after consultation with specialists to which the ministry has granted clearance. The old designs were found to be wastage of funds.

Officiating Project Director under MoH’s Health Infrastructure Development Division (HIDD), S B Gurung said that the only differences between the existing and new BHU designs is that some of the services have been reduced.

For Grade I BHUs, the number of beds has been reduced to five from ten along with rooms for x-ray, laboratory and isolation room. Grade II BHUs that had six beds will now have only four beds, two each for male and female. Toilet facilities for Grade II BHUs have been reduced to one as a general toilet.

S B Gurung also said the size of land required for construction has also been reduced. Carpet area for Grade II BHUs will now come to 356.5 square meters at an approximate cost estimate of Nu 7.5mn. Earlier the plinth area measured up to 900 square meters and a cost estimate of Nu 12.969mn.

However, for the Grade I BHUs, he said it will remain the same 458 square meters at the cost of Nu 117.362mn.

“This has been done mainly as cost cutting measures and also because the ministry is not able to send doctors to every BHU due to shortage of manpower,” S B Gurung said.

The ministry is planning to provide two doctors each for Grade I BHUs and one each for the Grade II category.

The circulation of the new design will be send to all dzongkhags by next year for constructions since the HIDD is still reworking on the design and cost estimate.

The HIDD has been working with the new BHU design since the 10th five year plan. “During the Mid-term review meeting sometime in 2010, we were instructed to come up with smaller design,” the officiating Project Director said.

He added that the new designs are in keeping with the guidelines for constructions of BHUs.

Dr Ugen Dophu also said, “Most of the BHUs in the country are small ones since they were built long time ago with less available funds and it was fine, but when it comes to the present context, it is too small.”

He said small BHUs will be extended or renovated and all new ones shall follow the third design.

Tashi Deki 


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