A nation is a composite of people led by benevolent monarchs in case of our country. The health system of Bhutan has made much progress since the interactions with the missionaries from erstwhile British India. Allopathic medicine has established its firm practise with Traditional Medicine. The terrain of our country and inadequate number of trained personals has been challenge in the delivery of health services.
The health indicators of Bhutan have made marked improvement in the recent past while there are many areas to develop and work on. Amongst the SAARC region, Sri Lanka has an impressive health infrastructure and health indicators at par with some developed countries. One key component of health infrastructure is a university where health professionals can be trained.
The Khesar Gyalpo University of Medical Sciences is now functioning and has already begun providing training in post-graduate medicine. This will be a place where Bhutan can provide training and skills specific to the needs and realities of Bhutan. The university in the future, sooner I hope will provide undergraduate MB BS programmes.
Currently, over 150 students are studying in Sri Lanka in four different medical colleges. This is a huge expenditure for the Royal Government and for parents. It takes almost 6 years to produce one doctor and for all these students to come back as qualified doctors, the country needs to wait.
Until we can educate doctors in our own country, those doctors trained in the neighbouring countries will be the ones who will provide service to our country. In the spirit of maintaining good collaborative relations with the neighbouring countries, our people should be thankful to these universities in Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and India that train the future of health of our country.
We hope to work together and collaborate in the field of practice and research in medical science. We are importing many renowned ideas that originated in these countries. For example, oral rehydration solution originated in Bangladesh and the idea of essential medicines list originated in Sri Lanka.
In the past, Sri Lanka used to refer patients outside the country like Bhutan does now. However, Sri Lanka can now manage to provide almost all of the sub- and super-speciality care. In times to come, I wish and I hope our doctors work hard and policy makers look into the future and make it possible in the near future to provide quality care.