Nima Wangdi | Bumthang

With specialists in place in Wangdicholing hospital in Bumthang, the disease profile should change in Bumthang and catchment areas, mainly Trongsa since it is officially clubbed with Bumthang.

Lyonchhen Dr Lotay Tshering said this to Wangdicholing hospital staff on July 20.

“You must be able to detect diseases early,” he said. “We have more than 90 health staff, five specialists catering to 50 per cent of the total 17,000 people of Bumthang’s population.

The Prime Minister said it should, in fact, be the best health facility set up in the world.

He said the way health officials think should change and they should go to people before they are diseased. “District health officials and other officials should take the lead and enjoy this profession by making people aware of the diseases.”

Citing an example, he said that there should be no death from cervical cancer as it is 100 percent preventable if we work this way.

Cervical cancer can be cured at many stages before it actually kills the person, according to Lyonchhen.

He said passing many stages of the disease and losing our mothers and sisters to cervical cancer is the sheer failure of our health services. “Only countries with poor health facilities have a high number of cervical cancers.”

He said it is similar to kidney failure caused by so many unattended infections. “Health workers should change the way we think.”

Lyonchhen said that  hospital staff should know the population of each gewogs and basic health units (BHU), and the disease patterns in the BHUs. “Health staff should visit them frequently since all the four gewogs are a few hours drive away. It is one of the conveniently structured dzongkhags in the country.”

He said if health officials go to the villages and talk to people about the disease, people will enjoy their services. “Hospital staff should also meet once a week to remain informed on the national plan and the local plans. Doctors should also not be compartmentalized, but do more.”

Lyonchhen said the services provided at the BHUs should also improve.

He said the main problem today is that people want to be paid one-day DSA the moment they travel 10 kilometres and some three specialists travelling will finish the whole DSA of the dzongkhag.

He urged the health professionals to drive to BHUs with packed lunch in a pool vehicle to see patients.

Lyonchhen will meet dzongkhag officials and the thromde today.