With a view to know ground realities and get feedback from workers in the field  

Visit: Health facilities in the country is facing a major issue of human resource shortage, health minister, Tandin Wangchuk, said during his visit to Trashigang dzongkhag.

“Human resource is a major problem. It’s never going to be enough. Even countries like the US have shortage of human resources in the medical sector,” lyonpo said.

To understand ground realities of the health facilities in the central and eastern parts of the country, the health minister is on a visit to the dzongkhags. He discussed issues and challenges confronted by health workers in the dzongkhags.

“To address anything, if you’d have been there physically, it really helps during decision-making,” lyonpo said. “When we’re on the move, we have stakeholders from the ministry so that they can also participate; we can solve a lot of issues together.”

From his visit to the BHUs and hospitals so far, lyonpo said there was need for service improvement and introduction of new services in a lot of the health facilities.

Maintenance of equipment was found to be another major issue.  Although a qualified engineer should carry out repair and maintenance of diagnostic machines, lyonpo said manufacturers don’t attend to these machines because of the lesser number.

“When you have to avail the services of the manufacturers, they don’t attend, as there are only a few machines, which is why a lot of machines are left broken down,” he said.

The minister said health facilities in the rural areas are better in the east and central region compared with other dzongkhags. “We found out there are more BHUs per gewog in these regions.”

For instance, Zhemgang has 14 BHUs for 12 gewogs in the dzongkhag, whereas in the west, there are cases of two gewogs having to share a single BHU.

During the visit, lyonpo repeatedly reminded health officials on the need for human touch when treating patients.

Lyonpo also informed that the ministry is working together with Youth Development Fund (YDF) on coming up with a rehabilitation centre in Trashigang.

Lyonpo and his team have visited Zhemgang, Pemagatshel, Samdrupjongkhar, Trashigang and Trashiyangtse.  They would be leaving for Mongar today and then to Bumthang tomorrow.

By Tshering Wangdi, Trashigang