Cor­po­ra­ti­za­tion of JDWNRH, against the Prin­ci­ples of State Pol­icy and fla­grant vi­o­la­tion of Con­sti­tu­tion: Opposition

Bhutan Times - - Home - Staff Re­porter

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)

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