University of Medical Sciences of Bhutan launch Postgraduate Residency Program
As mandated by the University of Medical Sciences Act of Bhutan 2012, the University has launched the Postgraduate Residency Programme in the capital last Thursday.
To develop health human resources for the provision of sustained patient-centered quality care and public health education through innovative, integrated learner-centered education, training curricula and research activities in consonance with GNH principles and human values.
The Minister for Health and the Chairperson of the Governing Council of the University of Medical Sciences of Bhutan, Lyonpo Tandin Wangchuk said, although Bhutan has made significant achievements in healthcare delivery system over the last 50 years planned development, the health sector continues to be plagued by shortage of trained health professionals at all levels, particularly at the levels of doctors and specialist.
Lyonpo said, in order to help realize our national aspiration of self-reliance in health human resources and provision of sustained quality care, the Royal Government of Bhutan has established the University of Medi- cal Sciences of Bhutan (UMSB) with the mandate to provide medical and health education and training in the country.
The program is perhaps the first of its kind wherein a structured and fulltime postgraduate course is being initiated, spearheaded, and implemented within the country using the available resources, said the Lyonpo.
Interim President, Dr. Kinzang P. Tshering said, more than a half of a century has passed since modern healthcare services were introduced in Bhutan. We have made unbelievable progress in healthcare but the shortage of specialized health manpower, particularly at the specialists’ level still poses a continuing challenge in our quest to provide equitable healthcare in the country. Moreover, with the rise in awareness for the general public on health and their demand for quality services against exponential rise in the cost of referrals outside the country. The government is spending huge amount to bring in expatriate specialists and that too with so much difficulty and limitations.
The Royal Government of Bhutan is deeply concerned with improvement of services at the JDWNR Hospital and brings down health care cost, particu- larly the cost of patient referrals outside the country. The government has already granted autonomy to JDWNR Hospital to facilitate the growth and further strengthening of the services, he added.
According to the press release, the main aim of the program is to address the shortages of specialists in the country and to improve and strengthen the delivery of tertiary healthcare. The residency program will facilitate the availability of doctors round the clock to attend to the patients quickly and efficiently. The program would also call for development of additional specialist services to enrich teaching and learning activities which will positively impact patient care.
The program offers to only five disciplines as of now and there are nine residents in five disciplines, for instance, two in Gynae-Obstetrics, two in Pediatrics, two in Surgery, two in Ophthalmology, and one in Anesthesiology and this program will expand to other discipline as well.
While, the Post Graduate Program is headed by a Program Director, Dr. Phub Dorji, who was formally appointed as the Program Director of the Postgraduate Medical Education Centre (PGMEC) and the faculties comprises of specialist from the JDWNR Hospital and the new specialist will graduate from the University in four years from now.
Meanwhile, Minister for Education Lyonpo Mingbo Dukpa who was present at the launching occasion also released the first Annual Report 20132014 of the University.