Residents of Shumar Gewog in Pema Gatshel now have basic healthcare services almost at their doorsteps. An old milk processing unit that remained closed at Yalang village has been turned into a health clinic to ease access to basic medical care. Otherwise, they have to travel around 14 kilometres to reach the Pema Gatshel District Hospital.
Residents of Yalang and nearby villages frequently visit the newly opened health clinic located near the Khothakpa Gypsum mining.
Besides easing access to healthcare services, the clinic has brought economic relief to the people.
Residents say they can save their hard-earned money as they now do not have to hire vehicles to reach the district hospital at the old Pema Gatshel town.
Phuntsho T Namgay, a resident said, “the hiring charges have been reduced, which minimizes expenditure. Those who cannot afford to hire a vehicle can even reach the healthcare clinic by walking. Therefore, I think it would have benefited other villagers too, like me.”
“The establishment of the clinic has benefited the truckers. Now, if we are suffering from a cough and cold, we can easily visit the clinic leaving our trucks in a queue. It takes only five minutes to reach here on foot,” said Pema Dendup, a trucker.
“We have over a hundred drivers here. Firstly, we can save fuel. In addition, it saves time.” said Sonam Tshering, another trucker.
Yalang-Khothakpa Tshogpa, Bopo Drukpa also said, “by providing such health services from here, elderly people do not have to visit the hospital, which is far from the village. It is benefiting the people.”
The health clinic is particularly beneficial for elderly people as they no longer have to take uncomfortable journeys to receive medical treatment from the district hospital.
The health clinic, currently operated by a health assistant and a caretaker, benefits more than 100 households of Khar and Shumar Gewogs.