Cluster Hospitals- improving access to health services

Consulting doctors, specifically specialists, is expected to get a lot easier from next year. The government says all ten “cluster hospitals” which will have five specialists each will be ready by the end of the year. This was shared by the Prime Minister during his recent visit to Lhuentse. A “cluster hospital” is an initiative of the government to identify a central hospital which will be equipped with specialists and that will cater to people of two or more districts. 

So far, the health ministry has initiated seven of the so-called “cluster” hospitals. They are the hospitals in Bumthang, Damphu, Wangdue Phodrang, Phuentshogling, Dewathang, Samtse and Trashigang.

And except for a few, most of these hospitals have already been equipped with specialists. The five specialists include a gynaecologist, a paediatrician, a general surgeon, an anesthesiologist and a medical specialist.

The prime minister added that the Paro, Pema Gatshel and Tingtibi hospitals are the three remaining cluster hospitals.

“In Lhuentse, you may think the specialists are not there, but we have deployed them at the hospital in Monggar. And once all the ten cluster hospitals are ready, then we will start sending specialists to the individual district hospitals in our next plan,” said Lyonchhen.

According to Health Minister Dechen Wangmo, all the ten “cluster hospitals” will have five specialists each by the end of this year. Lyonpo said this will help bring health care services closer to the people’s homes.

“Specialist services were limited only to the regional hospitals. So now through the cluster hospital, we are improving access to health services. Now people in Trashi Yangtse and Lhuentse need not come to Monggar and JDWNRH,” Lyonpo said.

The health ministry implemented the cluster hospital strategy in 2019.

The government is also planning to have all district hospitals equipped with the five specialists by the end of next year.

Sonam Tshering, Lhuentse

Edited by Yeshi Gyaltshen

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