Ways to retain doctors
Some of the most qualified and senior most doctors are leaving the medical profession. Most of them are leaving to carry out the profession privately and some want to look for green pastures aboard. The only oncologist in Bhutan has submitted his resignation and it is said that one of the senior medical specialist with the Ministry of Health has submitted the resignation.
There seems to be a wide spread discontent among the doctors mostly due to lack of incentive to work around the clock, too much interference on the surgical and medical profession by the administrative staff and aged old bureaucratic set up procedure . Most of the times, the heads of the organization are not from the medical background making the matter worst.
There is always a tussle between the administrative staff and medical professions that leads to delay in providing immediate medical care. At times the delay may be so dear that we will not be able to save the patient. With no proper monitoring system, there is always an array of blame game and at the last the general public gets the brunt.
Now, in order to retain doctors in the medical profession the Royal Civil Service Commission had come out with the amendment of the BCSR 12 as per doctor’s career path reform. The reform has been made to attract, retain and motivate doctors who provide critical services to our society. The changes as per the Royal Civil Service Commission are to address the problems of seniority lost due to long duration in the field of study. The meritorious promotion for the senior doctors and certain entry level for the doctors with masters have been taken into consideration. The study period of two years is considered as active service for promotion and first promotion after three years excluding probation.
Further the duration for training period up to 18 months for any single training shall be counted as part of active service for the purpose of promotion and doctors with master’s will be placed in P3 level are some of the amendment of the BCSR 2012 to attract doctors and motivate to work harder.
However, with the health ministry having about 241 doctors and medical specialist working in the country now the requirement as per human resource projection the ministry of health needs about 379 general doctors and 147 specialist and 18 super specialists, now the future will only tell how this will help to retain them.
With the nation facing acute shortage of doctors and specialist these measures put in place will have a long term effect in retaining them and providing free health services. The task looks daunting but positive steps are always welcome.