HRC withholds promotion of the doctors 

Younten Tshedup 

The health ministry’s human resource committee (HRC) recently decided to withhold promotions of two doctors for breaching the Covid-19 protocol.

According to sources, a senior medical officer working at the Gedu Hospital had travelled to Phuentsholing and returned to his station without following the seven-day quarantine protocol.

The existing protocol identifies Phuentsholing as a high-risk and Gedu as low-risk areas. Any individual travelling from a higher risk area has to mandatorily undergo the seven-day facility quarantine and get tested for Covid-19 at the place of origin before travelling to a lower-risk area.

However, it was learnt that the senior medical officer after consulting with the medical officer in Phuentsholing had left for Gedu from Phuentsholing without staying in the quarantine.

Sources said that neither the ministry nor the Covid-19 task force in Phuentsholing knew about their actions until recently. The doctor who did not stay in quarantine has tested negative for Covid-19.

As the disciplinary committee of the ministry, the HRC decided to withhold the promotions of the Gedu and Phuentsholing doctors for two and one year, respectively.

Health Secretary, Dr Pandup Tshering confirmed the details. He told Kuensel that while the incident was unfortunate, the decision had to be taken given the current situation. “While we are conscious of all the hard work and contributions of our health workers, they should not become complacent and overlook the protocols.”

Dr Pandup said that the disciplinary actions were taken as per the Bhutan Civil Service Rules and Regulations (BCSR) 2018.

He added that following the incident the ministry has also sent a reminder notification to all the health workers across the country to be cognizant of all the existing Covid-19 protocols and to follow them diligently.