Health worker shortage at primary health care centres in Wangdue Phodrang

Some of the Primary Health Care Centres in Wangdue Phodrang are facing a shortage of health workers. Local leaders said the shortage has affected health service delivery to the people. The local leaders raised the issue during the recent Dzongkhag Tshogdu. There are ten Primary Health Care Centres, eight sub posts and three hospitals in Wangdue Phodrang.

Gase Tshogom Gup, Chado says Gase Tshogom has the highest population compared to other gewogs in the district.

The gup added that the people from Punatsangchhu colony also avail themselves of the health services from the health care centre in Gase Tshogom making it difficult for the three-health staff to cater the services.

Other gups also shared similar views.

“The health care centre in Gase Tshogom Gewog is facing difficulty in providing health services with only three health staff. Moreover, we have received an order from the district administration to relieve one of the staff,” said Chado, Gase Tshogom Gup.

“Our health staff have to cater health services whenever there is any motor vehicle accident along the highway. The health assistant has to attend it and the centre has only one nurse. So, the people are not able to get health services efficiently,” said Dawa Tshering, Sephu Gup.

However, according to the district’s health sector, currently, they are carrying out an internal transfer of health staff in line with civil service reform.

The district is facing health worker shortage as there is a need for four health assistants.

Officials said three health assistants have resigned and another one plans to resign.

“We will have to adjust the health staff by restructuring since we cannot keep our health centres closed. For instance, we have three health assistants at Samtengang and Gaselo Primary Health Care Centres. So, we will have to transfer them where there is a shortage,” said Rinchhen Dorji, Assistant District Health Officer.

Meanwhile, the Dzongkhag Tshogdu unanimously decided to conduct research to ascertain how genuine is the issue.

“The Dzongkhag Tshogdu, the district health sector, and the concerned Gewog Administration will jointly carry out the research. We will see how many people are coming to avail themselves of the health services in a month. From that number, we will know about the requirement for health staff. We will also carry out the research in the district hospital,” said Kinzang Thinley, Dzongkhag Tshogdu Chairperson.

After conducting the research, the Dzongkhag Tshogdu will submit a report to the health ministry if there is a need for additional health staff.

The House also decided to submit a report to the health ministry through the district’s health sector to upgrade the Norbuding Sub Post to Primary Health Care Centre.

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