Jigmi Wangdi

Bhutan is the pioneer in primary healthcare (PHC) measurement in South Asia.

This is according to a study carried out by Ministry of Health (MoH), in partnership with the World Bank and with funding support from the Government of Japan and The Global Fund.

But what does it really mean?

The assessments were carried out to response to evolving challenges and to develop a more resilient and future-fit health system, to assess the current status, and to identify strengths and opportunities within the existing PHC system.

The assessments focused on Primary Health Care Performance Initiative (PHCPI), Service Delivery Indicators (SDI), and Bhutan’s Healthcare Costing Analysis.

The findings of the PHCPI and SDI assessments show that Bhutan has a strong foundation for quality PHC service delivery.

Health Minister Tandin Wangchuk said that the SDI survey would provide critical insights into the quality of health service delivery. “It is timely for the 13th Five-year Plan’s baseline.”

Lyonpo added that the PHCPI would offer a better understanding of the state of PHC in the country. “The findings of the assessment look impressive and it will serve as the baseline to monitor PHC in the country.”

The Bhutan Healthcare Costing Analysis will be useful in planning sustainable health financing while fulfilling the constitution’s mandate of providing free basic health services, Lyonpo said.

Bhutan is the first country in the South Asia region to conduct a comprehensive set of internationally recognised and standardised PHC system measurements.

As a result, Bhutan is leading the region in its dedication to innovation and accountability through its pioneering set of comprehensive PHC-focused assessments.

The findings will provide timely, actionable, and policy-relevant evidence to make an impact on health care and population health at scale.