University to maintain and monitor quality and quantity of training and capacity-building programmes 

Jigmi Wangdi

The Khesar Gyalpo University of Medical Science Bhutan (KGUMSB) has assumed the responsibility of capacity-building training of health workers in the country.

A Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) was signed between the Ministry of Health and (KGUMSB) recently on January 30. An official from the ministry said health workers who are engaged in the clinical management of patients and involved in the prevention and promotion of public health in the communities will be trained by KGUMSB.

The official added that the MOU will mandate KGUMSB to provide all capacity building of the health workforce in the country.

“The capacity-building training will consist of skill enhancement of the health professionals in all departments around the country, which will help in the delivery of quality health care services and improve patient safety,” the official said.

KGUMSB will maintain and monitor both the quality, need and quantity of training and capacity-building programmes across the country.

The continued medical education (CME) programme will ensure that health workers will be updated and provided the avenue to develop skills and knowledge on the latest developments, as there is always new evidence generated for better health care and new technologies which will help achieve better efficiency.

“Training will focus on providing knowledge and skills to our health workers to implement best practices which will help improve efficiency and minimise harm to the patients,” the official said.

The CME programme will give an opportunity for health workers to enhance their qualifications and career path successively.

For instance,  a laboratory assistant can gradually enrol into a diploma course provided by KGUMSB and then become a laboratory technician who can further pursue BSc. and become a laboratory technologist.

KGUMSB will also coordinate with international health institutions to provide opportunities to improve health workers’ education.

The ministry also aims to tackle the issue of health workers resigning and leaving the country through the CME programme.

“We expect the programme to address the consequences of this issue (resignation) by consistently and effectively upskilling health workers to fill in the void created by health workers who leave the system,” the official said.

The ministry is also working on a series of policy alternatives to help retain skilled healthcare professionals.

Policy proposals include the possibilities of introducing ‘equal pay for an equal value of work’ and creating more conducive working conditions are being discussed.

The signing of the MOU was a part of the transformation process to review the mandates of the organisations and assign new mandates to each of the relevant organisations.

Before the MOU, capacity-building and training of health workers were conducted by both the ministry and KGUMSB.