Dechen Dolkar

The Ministry of Health (MoH) is recalling specialists and doctors, who were deployed in various hospitals and basic health units (BHUs) during the surge of Covid-19 positive cases in the country.

The ministry has temporarily deployed 37 specialists and doctors at the Covid-19 isolation hospitals, hospitals and remotest BHUs to provide critical health services to the patients.

Five specialists from Jigme Dorji Wangchuck National Referral Hospital (JDWNRH) were deployed each in Wangduephodrang, Gelephu, Phuntsholing, Mongar and Trashigang.

The ministry’s chief human resource officer, Sangay Thinley, said they were deployed in January this year.

He also said that in February, 10 specialists and 27 doctors studying in KGUMSB were sent in 10 dzongkhags and BHUs in Laya and Lunana in Gasa, Lingzhi in Thimphu, Sombaykha in Haa, Khomshar in Zhemgang, Sakteng in Trashigang and Jangphutse in Trashiyangtse, Lhuntse, and Dagana to monitor and manage the Covid-19 cases. 

Sangay Thinley said that with minimum hospitalisation of Covid-19 positive cases and the exams for resident doctors approaching in June, they are being recalled back to Thimphu. “Resident doctors have requested the ministry that they want to prepare for exams.”

He said they had an executive meeting on April 25 and the minister approved the proposal.

He said that doctors were also asked to visit BHUs to screen and give medication to those vulnerable populations and those who could not visit the hospitals. “People in remote areas benefited from the deployment.”

Sangay Thinley said two specialists, a gynaecologist and a paediatrician visited remote areas in Pemagatshel. “The dzongkhag has written to the ministry to extend the visit by another two weeks since doctors could not cover all the BHUs for screening.”

It was learnt that initially, the plan was to deploy the doctors and specialists for a minimum of one year and a maximum of three years. 

Sangay Thinley said that they will be redeployed if required in future. 

Lunana Gup, Kaka, said deployment of doctors in the gewog helped the people recieve medication. “But without medical equipment in the BHU, it could not help much to the people.’

He said a teacher of Lunana School was seriously ill recently and was airlifted to Thimphu although there was a doctor in the BHU. 

Trashiyangtse’s Toedtso gup, Dechen Wangdi, said the deployment of doctors in the BHU has immensely benefited the people of Jangphutse chiwog.

He said people didn’t have to travel to the dzongkhag hospital and saved the cost of the travel.

Jangphutse chiwog is not connected by farm road and it is a one day journey from the gewog centre.