Thinley Namgay

To enhance better access to healthcare and outreach services for urban residents, the health ministry will construct   five satellite clinics  in Thimphu and Phuentsholing.

Of that one each will be in Babena, Motithang, Babesa, and Debsi.  The satellite clinic groundbreaking ceremony at Babena was held yesterday.

The satellite clinics are a part of the Health Sector Development Programme (HSDP), which is grant-based and  Nu 1.4 billion supported by the Asian Development Bank. It comprises a project grant of Nu 420M and a policy grant of Nu 980M.

The project is aligned with the key result areas of the 12th Plan.

Health Minister Dechen Wangmo said that the overall goal of the satellite clinics was to improve equity, efficiency and sustainability of Bhutan’s health system by augmenting access to primary health care services.

HSDP is expected to cost Nu 2.9B and is expected to ensure primary health services in underserved areas, support health sector financing and disease surveillance and enhance health information systems.

“All the five satellite clinics will have a doctor.  Necessary services such as X-ray, blood test and MCH services will be provided. Specialist services for the non-communicable diseases such as diabetes will be put in place,” Lyonpo said.

According to health officials, it is also expected to decongest patient load at the national referral hospital with the construction of clinics.

Clinic construction work at Debsi was handed to the private individual. Work will be completed in 18 months.  To construct other clinics, it will be tendered soon, as per officials.

Lyonpo said that if the first five clinics become successful, clinics in Samdrupjongkhar and Gelephu Thromdes would begin.

Edited by Tshering Palden