Corporatization of JDWNRH, against the Principles of State Policy and flagrant violation of Constitution: Opposition
The Druk Phuensum Tshogpa (DPT) had demanded the government to stop its vested interests and hypocritical move to corporatization Jigme Dorji Wangchuck National Referral Hospital (JDWNRH).
In a press release issued last Friday, the Opposition stated that the government move to corporatized JDWNRH is against the several Principles of State Policy enshrined in our scared Constitution.
“By the same token, it is a flagrant violation of the Constitution. Neither is corporatization the right approach to retaining specialists nor is it right for the Government to blame the RCSC and the pay commission as being hindrances to enhancing the pay and allowances of the specialists. The ultimate authority with regard to salary and allowances lies with the Parliament.”
“The ultimate ulterior motive of the Government is to pave way for the privatization of the public health facilities and services. This is yet another of its numerous ill-considered adventures and a part of the recent trend of the functioning of the Government to use corporatization as a means to solve all problems, paying little heed to the state policies and laws. It goes against the very Principles of State Policy enshrined in our Constitution. Among others, the proposal violates Article 9 (21) of the Constitution which mandates the State to provide free access to basic public health services both in modern and traditional medicines.”
“This move by the Government will have serious implications on the future well-being of the people and nation. In particular, it will affect equitable access to public health services, widen the gap between the rich and the poor and jeopardize the good quality of life of the people. This will be disastrous for the overwhelming majority of the citizens. The corporatization of the national referral hospital would effectively deprive the poor and humble from availing quality health services. Both cost and accessibility would become serious problem.”
However, the Opposition stated that they are amenable to the idea of opening up the opportunity for private health services in certain areas based on a clear policy. The Opposition is said to have raised this issue for the second time. The first was raised at the question and hour session during 9th Session of the Second Parliament on 19th May, 2017.
The opposition demanded the Government to stop its vested interests and hypocritical move to corporatize and privatize public health services. Instead of blaming the RCSC, a Constitutional body entrusted to ensure a just and competent administration, for the failure of the government is both sad and worrying.
The Opposition said that the retention of medical specialists and adequate compensation thereto, is the matter should be dealt with through the review of their salary, allowances and benefits as per the Constitution instead of corporatization. The state policies should be protected and the rule of law respected.
The minister for health Lyonpo Tandin Wangchuk had announced earlier this month that JDWNRH will be corporatized to help the hospital retain its specialists. Once corporatized, the hospital can raise its allowances accordingly to discourage medical specialists to quit their profession.
The minister said since specialists are civil servants, the ministry has no authority to increase their allowances. But if the hospital becomes a corporate body, then things can fall in place.
There are 67 specialists and 10 super specialists in the country now.
Corporatization of JDWNRH, against the Principles of State Policy and flagrant violation of Constitution: Druk Phuensum Tshogpa (Opposition)