Course will start in July 

Lhakpa Quendren 

The Khesar Gyalpo University of Medical Sciences of Bhutan (KGUMSB) will host the MBBS (Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery) programme at the facility the government bought at Taba, Thimphu last year.

The government in April 2022 acquired a private property at upper Taba for Nu 203.9 million to establish a Covid-19 hospital during the peak of the pandemic.

The national referral hospital (JDWNRH) also handed over one of the structures to the university to house the hostel for MBBS students, administrative block, and laboratory.

A senior official from the national referral hospital said that one of the two buildings will be used for the MBBS programme while another will be used for the establishment of a dental hospital.

Of the 70 MBBS slots announced for the undergraduate scholarship this year, KGUMSB will enroll 25 students, and other 45 scholarship recipients through the Royal Civil Service Commission will be sent to Bangladesh, Cuba, and Sri Lanka.

A member of the MBBS project secretariat in an earlier interview said that while Thimphu has been identified as the most feasible and suitable location for the immediate start of the course, it will look for a permanent structure outside Thimphu and Paro.

KGUMSB, for immediate implementation of the MBBS programme, proposed to the government Nu 533.681 million in January. The finance ministry reviewed the proposal and approved only the immediate budget.

Budget analysts from the finance ministry also recommended using the Taba building for the MBBS programme. It also started curriculum development and procurement, according to the project secretariat.

The Cabinet during the 133rd session on December 14 last year approved the in-country MBBS programme to start by July this year.

While the refurbishment works will be initiated soon at the MBBS building, remodeling works are already ongoing in another building to shift the dental department from JDWNRH by May this year.

For the dental department, Nu 7.6 million has been awarded to the National Housing Development Corporation (NHDCL) for the remodeling work.

NHDCL Chief Executive Officer Rinchen Wangdi said that about 20 percent of the remodeling work has been completed. “We are given four months for the remodeling work and it will be completed on time.”

“We have procured all the required equipment and are now ready to be installed. We have hired labourers from the market in addition to our workers to complete the work within the time,” he added.