… to explore potential areas of collaboration

Health: Various potential areas of collaboration were discussed between health minister Tandin Wangchuk and Thailand’s public health minister Dr Piyasakol Sakolsatayadorn yesterday.

Dr Piyasakol Sakolsatayadorn and his delegation are on a four-day visit to the country.

The health ministry provided a presentation on the health care system of the country explaining how the ministry provides various types of health services to the Bhutanese people along with some of the major challenges the ministry faces.

The ministry presented six possible areas of collaboration and support to the delegations, namely; strengthening human resources for health, strengthening capacity for the Royal Centre for Disease Control, more collaboration in traditional medicine, expanding and strengthening quality assurance, and giving more support in terms of academic and research exchange programmes at the Khesar Gyalpo University of Medical Science. Continuing support to Bhutanese patients mainly monks who avail health services in Thailand was also discussed.

Thailand’s delegation team positively received the suggestions of possible collaboration in these various areas. They discussed extensively on how to improve their support and further collaborate in these areas.

Health minister Tandin Wangchuk said the friendly relationship between the two nations was further strengthened by the visit of the Princess of Thailand to the country last month.

“We are grateful to closely collaborate with Thailand that has one of the best health care systems in the region. We are impressed by their universal health coverage scheme,” Lyonpo said. “We hope to receive continuing support and collaboration on the various health related issues between the two countries.”

Thailand’s public health minister Dr Piyasakol Sakolsatayadorn said he hopes that the collaboration and support prospers between the two nations.

“We have had good outcomes in the past and we would like to strengthen the collaboration with the two ministries to promote health among our population and build capacity to strengthen the current and future collaborations,” Dr Piyasakol Sakolsatayadorn.

The biggest challenge the health ministry faces is addressing the triple disease burdens, the increasing health care costs, limited health budget allocation and decreasing foreign donor support.

There are a total of 24 hospitals with three regional referral hospitals and 512 out reach clinics in the country. The health ministry employs 251 doctors, 170 nurses and 965 health technicians.

Thinley Zangmo