Move for health spe­cial lot­tery earns Nu.38m

Bhutan Times - - Front Page - Thin­ley Choda

The Bhutan Health Trust Fund (BHTF) had printed 300,000 lot­tery tick­ets. Of the to­tal earn­ings of Nu.38 m, over Nu.10 m was spent on award­ing the cash prizes.

The spe­cial lot­tery is a part of the Bhutan Health Trust Fund’s ini­tia­tive to dou­ble the fund from over Nu.1.5 B to Nu.3 B by the end of this year.

Be­sides lot­tery earn­ings, the BHTF re­ceived Nu.500 m from the gov­ern­ment. The amount is part of the match­ing con­tri­bu­tion to the US$10m that the Asian De­vel­op­ment Bank (ADB) will pro­vide to the fund.

Fur­ther, the Bangladeshi gov­ern­ment has pro­vided Nu.150 m worth of es­sen­tial drugs.

Bangladesh has agreed to sup­ply 258 es­sen­tial drugs with ef­fect from Septem­ber this year.

The chair­man of BHTF, health min­is­ter Tandin Wangchuk said that the cap­i­tal fund of BHTF grew steadily over the years and the tar­get cap­i­tal of US$24 m was achieved to­wards the end of 2009.

How­ever, min­is­ter said that the con­tin­ued ap­pre­ci­a­tion of US$ against the ngul­trum had its toll on BHTF cap­i­tal Fund. “It be­gan to slide down in US$ terms and when I took over as the chair­man of the BHTF man­age­ment board in 2013, al­though the cap­i­tal fund was Nu.1.24 B, in dol­lar terms, it was equiv­a­lent to slightly over 19m, way short of the ini­tial tar­get of US$24 m.”

The chair­man of Korea-Bhutan Friend­ship As­so­ci­a­tion, Wil­liam Lee said that no one should go bank­rupt when they get sick and in­sur­ance, ev­ery­one’s dol­lar in­vested in health can pro­duce nine to 20 dol­lars in full in­come close by 2035. Health is our right, it’s not a priv­i­lege. Ex­cess to equal­ity health care should never de­pend on where you live, how much money you make or your race, gen­der or age.

Fur­ther, with the Gov­ern­ment of the Peo­ple’s Repub­lic of Bangladesh pro­vid­ing about Nu.150 m worth of es­sen­tial drugs and sim­i­larly, Korea-Bhutan Friend­ship would pro­vide Nu.50 m and in ad­di­tion to that, es­sen­tial drugs dona­tion worth of US$50,000.

With all these con­tri­bu­tions, the fund cap­i­tal of BHTF will be in­creased to Nu.3.3 b, it works out to roughly US$51 m and in­deed it is a sig­nif­i­cant achieve­ment, said the health min­is­ter.

Prime Min­is­ter, Dasho Tsh­er­ing Tob­gay said that “What is im­por­tant to our cit­i­zen most im­por­tant is our health. If our health is not good, no mat­ter how much wealth we have, no mat­ter how many job va­can­cies there is, we can­not stay happy. To keep our health well med­i­ca­tion is very im­por­tant.” He said that health is the most im­por­tant as­set for ev­ery­one.

He said that in 2017 alone, 1500 peo­ple were re­ferred to In­dia for medic­i­nal re­fer­ral pur­poses for which about Nu.200 m were spent. Amongst them, Bhutan re­ferred 555 can­cer cases.

He added that Bhutan now has started ra­dio ther­apy for can­cer pa­tients and in the last one month has been treat­ing about 15 peo­ple. He fur­ther said that a can­cer hos­pi­tal will be built in Bhutan too.

Prime min­is­ter added that in 2017, 20 kid­ney trans­plant cases were re­ferred to In­dia. In the last 3 years, over 100 kid­ney trans­plant cases were re­ferred to In­dia.

He said that with the com­mand and grace of His Majesty The King, the kid­ney trans­plant op­er­a­tion ser­vice will start in the coun­try soon. He shared that the doc­tors have been trained; equip­ments pro­cured and places iden­ti­fied.

Prime min­is­ter said that the BHTF in­sti­tuted by His Majesty The Fourth King in 2000 to fa­cil­i­tate free ba­sic med­i­cal ameni­ties for all times to come is a wel­fare (Kidu) en­trusted to us by our Monar­chs.

It was es­tab­lished in 2003 to sus­tain pri­mary health care through con­tin­ued and un­in­ter­rupted sup­ply of es­sen­tial drugs, vac­cines, nee­dles, and sy­ringes among others.

Since 2003, the BHTF spent over Nu.700m on es­sen­tial drugs and vac­cines. A to­tal of Nu.192 m has been spent on buy­ing es­sen­tials drugs and vac­cines in the fi­nan­cial year 2017-2018 alone.

Mean­while, Dorji Dema, 48 years old from Dorona gewog in Da­gana was the win­ner of Nu.5 m for Move for Health Spe­cial Lot­tery.

She is a mother of five chil­dren and is a full time house wife. Her hus­band works as a farmer and till date they had been sus­tain­ing from sell­ing mod­est amount of car­damom and dairy prod­ucts. She bought only one lot­tery ticket from her daugh­ter’s land­lord in Thim­phu.

She said she was on her way back from sell­ing car­damom in Phuentshol­ing. She never ex­pected that the one ticket would be the win­ning ticket and at the back of her mind she al­ways thought that peo­ple like her should not be dream­ing of win­ning lot­tery.

When the re­sult was de­clared on 5th Fe­bru­ary, her daugh­ter shared the news of her lot­tery win­ning the first prize. She just couldn’t be­lieve and she said she was still in dis­be­lief un­til she reached Bhutan Lot­tery Lim­ited of­fice in Phuentshol­ing. Her daugh­ter Sonam Lhamo who ac­com­pa­nied her to claim the prize in­formed Bhutan Lot­tery Lim­ited of­fi­cials that she has no ex­pec­ta­tions of any share from the win­ning amount. She said that her mother to­tally de­serves for all the hard­ships she has gone through in rais­ing her and her other sib­lings. Dorji Dema said that she would first like to liq­ui­date the house loan she had availed to con­struct their house at Da­gana and added that she wants to con­struct a Mani Dungkhor at her home and in­vest in her chil­dren’s fu­ture.

Dorji Dema, 48 years from Dorona gewog in Da­gana is the lucky win­ner of Nu. 5m

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