Fourth An­nual Med­i­cal con­fer­ence gets un­der­way in the cap­i­tal

Bhutan Times - - Front Page - Sonam Pen­jor

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.

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