Health Ministry looking at possibility of giving extra incentive to health workers to address attrition problem


The Health Ministry is looking at the possibility of giving extra incentives to health workers as a means to address its attrition problem. As per official data, more than 1,000 people in the health sector resigned from their jobs in the past seven years. The ministry’s attrition rate is, however, not alarming according to the Health Minister.

While the attrition rate in the health sector is concerning, Health Minister Dechen Wangmo says it is not alarming. She said the attrition rate is currently at around four per cent and would be considered alarming only if it exceeds 10 per cent.

The Ministry’s records show that the attrition rate of clinical employees was at 4.11 per cent last year, while it was 4.42 in 2021.

2020 had an attrition rate of 5.38%, the highest in the past six years.

“If we look at attrition in the health sector, mostly at the moment, it is happening in the JDWNRH, not in the rural areas. So, in the rural areas, the attrition is very less compared to the JDWNRH. Now, JDWNRH being the apex hospital with the maximum number of cases, they are the ones who are currently a bit stretched,” said the Health Minister.

However, to help address the problem of health professionals leaving their jobs every year, the Health Ministry is exploring mechanisms to pay the health workers extra for extra hours of work.

She added that attrition is a national concern and that it needs a multi-sectoral approach. She said the government is currently looking into the issue.

“We need to provide a comprehensive package to the civil servants so that it is attractive enough for them to stay in the country. So, I think that requires a lot of discussions with stakeholders and how we can decide on a national programme where the attrition rate not just in the health sector but also in other sectors is also taken care of,” she said.

As of December last year, there are currently more than 2,500 employees working under the health ministry.

The Prime Minister while meeting with local journalists recently shared that the country’s overall attrition rate currently stands at more than eight per cent.

Tashi Yangden

Edited by Yeshi Gyaltshen

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