Health sector budget increased by Nu 500mn
The additional budget is a contribution to Bhutan Health Trust Fund
The health sector has been allocated Nu 5bn during the financial year (FY) 2017-18 compared to Nu 4.5bn of the previous years.
Health sector allocation constitutes 8% of the total budget annually.
However, unlike the past, Nu 500mn has been added as a contribution to Bhutan Health Trust Fund to achieve its target of Nu 3bn towards the realization His Majesty the Fourth Druk Gyalpo’s vision of a self-reliant Bhutan in terms of essential drugs and vaccines.
One of the major activities in the health sector is the ongoing construction of a 20-bedded hospital in Haa, a 120-bedded hospital in Gelephu, a 40-bedded hospital in Dewathang and the 150-bedded Gyaltsuen Jetsuen Pema Mother and Child Hospital in Thimphu for which a total amount of Nu 1.1bn is allocated.
The budget for the ongoing constructions has increased by Nu 709mn when compared to the previous year. The allocation is also for the 40-bedded hospital in Tsirang.
According to the National Budget Report 2017-18, the health sector aims to deliver health care services by improving access to equitable and quality health care services, strengthening diagnostic capacity and reducing morbidity and mortality due to communicable and non-communicable diseases. Other aims of the health sector include strengthening traditional medicine services and consolidation and expansion of health infrastructure services among others.
For the FY 2016-17, Nu 161mn was allocated to combat communicable and non-communicable diseases in the country while this year the budget for it decreased to Nu 104mn.
The government has also allocated Nu 687mn to purchase essential drugs, non-drugs, reagents, equipment, and Nu 16.5mn for the purchase of three ambulances.
For professional development in the health sector, the government has allocated a budget of Nu 172mn, a decrease of Nu 138mn from the previous year, while Nu 14.2 million is provided to promote traditional medicines as an alternative health care to the people.
Also, Nu 358mn of the health sector allocation of Nu 1.2bn for dzongkhags and gewogs has been set apart to provide safe and clean drinking water through construction and maintenance of rural water supply and sanitation, and water source protection.