Health Minister Dasho Dechen Wangmo

Special health services in all 20 Dzongkhags: Health Minister

The Member of Parliament (MP) of Drukjeygang-Tseza constituency, Jurmi Wangchuk, during the question-and-answer session in the National Assembly (NA) said while BHU grade-1 in 15 dzongkhags have been upgraded to Dzongkhag General Hospitals, however, the BHU in Dagana has not been upgraded.

He informed the House that Dagana has two large constituencies consisting of 14 gewogs with about 35,000 population. In addition, he said, “Everyday 20 to 30 patients from Dagana travel to Thimphu for a treatment. I am sure it will bring an immense benefit to the people of Dagana, if the BHU grade-1 could be upgraded to a Dzongkhag General Hospital.”

In line with this, he questioned the Health Minister on the status and implementation of upgrading the Dagana BHU grade-1 in the phase II.

Responding to the MP, Health Minister, Dasho Dechen Wangmo, said that although the people, including the local leaders, have expressed their concerns over the need of surgeons, medical specialists and gynecologists in the hospitals, however, there is only a limited number of doctors and specialists.

Knowing the need of specialists around the country, she said, “We have increased the number of capacity in the KGUMS, and similarly, we have also increased the number of enrollment of nurses by 100 percent. However, it is difficult to place them immediately as their course duration goes upto 5 years.”

When their education duration prolongs, it is concerning to not be able to give the health services as expected, Lyonpo said, adding that the ministry has started a cluster approach strategy which would help the people get the health and medical services.

Citing as an example, she said that the general hospital in Wangdue is also looking after Punakha and Gasa. Such an approach is found to be working well in other dzongkhags as well. 

She said that the objective is to cater the best services to the people, which is why five specialist, gynecologist, surgery, medical specialist, pediatrician and anesthesiologist are deployed in every general hospital, which the nearby dzongkhags can also benefit from.

“We have developed that strategy in two phases. Bumthang, Samtse, Phuentsholing, Wangdue, Tsirang comes under phase I with almost all the services, while Zhemgang, Pemagatshel, Dagana and Trashiyangtse come under phase II,” she added.

The dzongkhags were divided under the two phases based on studies and research conducted by the ministry.

In order to give the health services to the people, the ministry procured the equipment for the hospitals. Even during the time of the pandemic, the people received health services, Lyonpo said, and further added that the ministry aims to make all the 5 special services available in all the 20 dzongkhags.

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