Fourth Annual Medical conference gets underway in the capital
The policies of universal free health coverage, the strong emphasis on primary health care approach, and most importantly, the immense contribution of the health workers have led us to where we are and to give better health care system in the country and to share ones ideas and experiences, a two days fourth Annual Medical conference gets under way yesterday in the capital with the theme “keeping pace with scientific updates”.
During the inaugural session of the conference, Ministry of Health Secretary Dr. Dorji Wangchuk said that we stand at a juncture of tremendous opportunities and challenges; a juncture where our health and development goals have moved within our reach, lifestyle and health challenges of unprecedented magnitude threaten the future of our public health system.
Furthermore, he added that this moment calls upon us to re-think and reorganize our ways of doing business; to rekindle the passion and ambition that characterized the initial chapters of health care in Bhutan.
“So our health system challenges are enormous which demands on us to be abreast with health sciences” said the Secretary.
We need to share ideas, anecdotes, and research findings. We know, the science and practice of medicine evolves and moves at a rapid speed and space, we need frequent updates. This means a better care for the patients. Medicine and art of healing is cosmic in nature hence keeping track of spatial movement of this is very important for us all. We need to ‘learn, unlearn and relearn’, he added.
WHO Representative, Dr. Ornella Lincetto said a number of initiatives to address the burden of non communicable disease are in place and major progress has been made in tobacco control. The Health Sector however, is confronted with several challenges such as shortage of health care professionals, emerging health priorities and budget shortfalls. While the country is yet to fully address the unfinished agenda of maternal, child health and communicable diseases, the prevalence of non-communicable diseases has risen considerably, and now account for about 70 percent of the reported burden of disease.
She further added that, cardiovascular diseases, diabetes and cancers are on the rise, in part due to changes in lifestyle, dietary habits, global marketing of unhealthy products, and population aging. In addition, rapid urbanization and modernization increase deaths from road accidents and mental disorders, substance abuse, suicide and violence. Adding to this, she said that double burden is a third challenge posed by emergencies due to natural disasters, climate and environmental changes and outbreaks.
A key challenge she mentioned that as clini-
cians is the rapid increase of antimicrobial resistance, which is very much linked to lack or non-use of national standard guidelines and inappropriate use of medicines.
The Health Secretary acknowledges the hard work and contribution of our health workers from across the country; often working in tight timeframes and difficult condition. However he said that, we have to put extra effort to garner patient friendliness among using improving the care delivery.
The President under the University of Medical Sciences of Bhutan Dr. Kinzang .P Tshering said the medical conference is a very good platform for medical professionals to share their experiences and research findings in Bhutan.
The conference was attended by some international delegates from India and Japan.
Meanwhile, the conference was organized by University of Medical Sciences of Bhutan (UMSB) and the Post Graduate Medical Education Centre (PGMEC) sponsored by World Health Organization.