Elec­tion 2018, the par­ties’ pledges on health­care sys­tem

Bhutan Times - - Front Page - Lhakpa Tsh­er­ing

As the date for the 2018 pri­mary elec­tion draws near, the par­ties have been out­lin­ing their man­i­festos for health­care sys­tem in the coun­try. With the launch­ing of their man­i­festos, the po­lit­i­cal par­ties made the key man­i­festo pledges.

The hot-but­ton is­sue of health care burst into the spot­light in elec­tion cam­paign in the form of prom­ises for best care en­sur­ing good health for all. All the par­ties promised to con­tinue pro­vid­ing free health care ser­vices, both in modern and tra­di­tional medicine.

Their pledges in­clude re­duc­ing wait­ing lists, timely health ser­vices, con­tin­u­ing fast-track so­cial work train­ing schemes to up­grade Dzongkhag hos­pi­tals with spe­cial­ist ser­vices, BHUs, and strengthen hu­man re­source for health­care.

The par­ties also plan to re­view and adopt a na­tional health pol­icy to en­sure sus­tain­abil­ity of free ba­sic health care ser­vices. Be­sides, to estab­lish some of the new spe­cial­ist hos­pi­tals and up­grade the ex­ist­ing health sys­tems are also on the agenda.

Druk Nyam­rup Tshogpa:

In its elec­tion man­i­festo, Druk Nyam­rup Tshogpa (DNT) pledged to estab­lish a sep­a­rate multi-dis­ci­plinary su­per spe­cialty hospi­tal to en­sure ac­cess to spe­cial­ist ser­vices at gewog level, in­clud­ing de­ploy­ment of med­i­cal doc­tor and am­bu­lance ser­vices.

DNT would estab­lish a stand­alone multi-dis­ci­plinary su­per-spe­cialty na­tional re­fer­ral hospi­tal to pro­vide ter­tiary care in all branches of medicine for kid­ney trans­plant, car­diac surgery, com­pre­hen­sive can­cer treat­ment, nu­clear medicine, fer­til­ity cen­tre and other fa­cil­i­ties.

The party said they would estab­lish spe­cial­ist ser­vices in strate­gic hos­pi­tals based on disease pat­tern and lo­ca­tion.

DNT says in­stead of promis­ing three doc­tors in ev­ery dis­trict, they would send more doc­tors to hos­pi­tals with higher pa­tient load to en­sure ef­fi­cient ser­vice. “We will re­duce wait­ing time in hos­pi­tals and en­able you to com­plete your visit in the short­est time pos­si­ble.”

The party en­sures ac­cess

to qual­ity health care at any­time. “We will re­view staff strength in all health cen­tres, weigh it against pa­tient load and en­sure that we have enough doc­tors, nurses and med­i­cal staff to meet pa­tients’ needs.”

DNT also plans to up­grade a few strate­gic dis­trict hos­pi­tals with spe­cial­ist ser­vices for the peo­ple to avail them­selves of the ser­vices within half day. To up­grade and strengthen lab­o­ra­tory and di­ag­nos­tic fa­cil­i­ties in all dis­trict hos­pi­tals for the pa­tients with­out hav­ing go to re­gional and na­tional re­fer­ral hos­pi­tals are some of the pledges in the part man­i­festo.

Bhutan Kuen-Nyam Party:

Bhutan Kuen-Nyam Party (BKP) plans to estab­lish one he­li­pad in each gewog and to pro­vide a one-time gift of Nu.5,000 for the birth of ev­ery sec­ond child.

BKP said their party would pro­vide high qual­ity health care for each and ev­ery Bhutanese through in­creased in­vest- ment and im­proved man­age­ment by post­ing two to three doc­tors in ev­ery dzongkhag hospi­tal.

The party en­sures to dig­i­tize the pa­tient in­for­ma­tion sys­tem in all hos­pi­tals us­ing in­di­vid­ual CID num­bers for pa­tient his­tory en­hanc­ing faster and more ef­fi­cient health care.

The party also en­sures that am­bu­lance ser­vice is dis­patched within 20 min­utes of the first call.

BKP has com­mit­ted to im­prove ac­cess to qual­ity health care with in­clu­sive, re­spon­sive, and eq­ui­table by es­tab­lish­ing CT scan ma­chines in all re­gional hos­pi­tals and X-ray and en­doscopy ma­chines in all dzongkhag hos­pi­tals.

It has plans to strengthen pre­ven­tive health care ad­vo­cacy, di­etary im­prove­ment, mother-child health and nu­tri­tion, tra­di­tional medicine ser­vices and pro­mote Sowa-Rigpa in other al­lied sec­tors are some of the party’s pledges to the peo­ples.

Druk Phun­sum Tshogpa:

Druk Phun­sum Tshogpa (DPT) pledged to estab­lish a Na­tional Den­tal hospi­tal, a can­cer hospi­tal and set up can­cer screen­ing mech­a­nism for preven­tion and early di­ag­no­sis.

The party plans to estab­lish a phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal man­u­fac­tur­ing com­pany in Bhutan to pro­duce es­sen­tial drugs, and estab­lish geri­atric care pro­gramme and geri­atric care cen­tres.

The party pledged to im­prove the work­ing con­di­tions of med­i­cal pro­fes­sion­als and pro­vide on cam­pus ac­com­mo­da­tion for es­sen­tial med­i­cal staff.

It would pro­vide three spe­cial­ist doc­tors in big­ger dis­trict hos­pi­tals in­clud­ing a gy­ne­col­o­gist.

DPT said that their party would up­grade the Fac­ulty of Nurs­ing to col­lege and in­crease the pool of nurses, and im­prove di­ag­nos­tic ser­vices with modern di­ag­nos­tic fa­cil­i­ties in all hos­pi­tals.

It also en­sures that all med­i­cal care pro­grammes and di­vi­sions are headed by pro­fes­sion­als with suit­able qual­i­fi­ca­tion and skills back­ground.

The party pledged to re­view and adopt a na­tional health pol­icy to en­sure sus­tain­abil­ity of free ba­sic health care ser­vices in both modern and tra­di­tional medicines for all times to come are some of the tall pledges in the health sec­tors.

Peo­ple Demo­cratic Party:

Peo­ple Demo­cratic Party (PDP) has promised to estab­lish a Mother and Child hospi­tal and a Can­cer hospi­tal in Thim­phu.

PDP plans to make Jigme Dorji Wangchuck Na­tional Re­fer­ral Hospi­tal (JDWNRH) into a ‘Su­per Spe­cial­ist’ hospi­tal. In par­tic­u­lar, JDWNRH will of­fer ter­tiary ser­vices in ENT, Oph­thal­mol­ogy, mother and child ser­vices, or­gan trans­plant, and On­col­ogy. To fa­cil­i­tate JDWNRH to be­come a su­per spe­cial­ist hospi­tal, the party said they will build one new re­fer­ral hospi­tal in Thim­phu.

To en­able peo­ple to avail tra­di­tional medicine ser­vices and treat­ment, the party would estab­lish a Na­tional Tra­di­tional Medicine (Sowai Rigpa) hospi­tal in Thim­phu.

The party would estab­lish kid­ney trans­plant fa­cil­i­ties at the JDWNRH and ex­plore the pos­si­bil­ity of con­struct­ing a kid­ney trans­plant cen­ter.

PDP said their party will estab­lish two ad­di­tional re­gional re­fer­ral hos­pi­tals in the coun­try, emer­gency ob­stet­rics and es­sen­tial sur­gi­cal trauma cen­ters in ev­ery dis­trict hospi­tal.

To en­sure that ev­ery BHU has one doc­tor, two nurses and suit­able num­ber of tech­ni­cians, a min­i­mum health­care fa­cil­ity and treat­ment ser­vices such as OT fa­cil­i­ties for mi­nor op­er­a­tions, X-ray, ul­tra-sound, and blood test­ing fa­cil­i­ties are some of the party’s pledges in the health sec­tor.

Ac­cord­ing to the Pop­u­la­tion and Hous­ing Cen­sus of Bhutan 2017, Bhutan’s over­all life ex­pectancy has im­proved to 70.2 years from 66.3 years in 2005.

How­ever, dras­tic shift in lifestyle and food con­sump­tion pat­terns has re­sulted in in­creas­ing health bur­den of NonCom­mu­ni­ca­ble Dis­eases (NCD), which ac­counts for 60 per­cent of deaths in the coun­try.

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