English | Dzongkha Thursday, April 18, 2019

Access to health services in Bhutan much better: Dr. Khetrapal Singh

Apr 24, 2014

Access to health services in Bhutan much better- Dr-Khetrapal SinghAccess to health services in Bhutan is much better, says the World Health Organization (WHO) first woman Regional Director of South East Asia, Dr. Poonam Khetrapal Singh.

This is her first visit to Bhutan after assuming office in February, this year. She is on here to attend a conference on “Advancing Universal Health Coverage in South East Asia”, which began in Paro, yesterday.

“My effort would be to see that I should be able to support Bhutan in any possible way to achieve universal health coverage,” said Dr. Khetrapal Singh.

From her trips to South East Asian regions, the regional director said, she discovered that Universal Health Coverage was something that everyone needed. “Out-of-pocket payments for health are also very high in South East Asia.” Affordable Universal Health Coverage is one of the main priorities of her vision in the region, she said.

She said WHO has identified areas for intervention, such as capacity building and technical support, among others.

Dr. Khetrapal Singh also visited a Basic Health Unit in Drugyel in Paro.

She has served as the Deputy Regional Director of WHO South East Asia before being elected as the Regional Director. She also worked for the Wold bank and as the Health Secretary for the State of Punjab in India.

Meanwhile, during the opening of the conference yesterday, the Prime Minister, Tshering Tobgay, said universal health coverage is important not only to achieve Gross National Happiness but also for Gross Domestic Product to enhance the economic activities of a country.

Around 100 participants, including international public health experts, development agencies and NGOs are taking part in the conference.

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