Govt. to recruit doctors from Myanmar

Ministry of Health

Health ministry starts the process to recruit experienced anesthesiologists and gynecologists from Myanmar on two year contract period

LHAKPA TSHERING | Thimphu

With the critical shortage of health specialists and their services becoming even dearer in the country, the Ministry of Health (MoH) has initiated the process to recruit foreign doctors from Myanmar on a contract basis which will extend for two years.

While the actual numbers of doctors to be recruited are yet to be ascertained, the health ministry is planning to recruit anesthesiologists and gynecologists with over three years of working experience.

Health ministry’s chief human resource officer Sangay Thinley said the recruitment process is in the planning stage and the administrative processes would take about two months to start rendering their services in the country.

The doctors will be recruited with a monthly special remuneration package of USD 3,000 under the prevailing special pay package of the national referral hospital (JDWNRH).

As the government upgraded some hospitals into cluster hospitals in 2021 while also gearing up for the expansion of specialist services across the country, foreign doctors will be deployed to meet the demand for critical care services.

In addition, MoH has also been working on plans to hire specialists from Sri Lanka since 2019 which had to be canceled because of the ongoing pandemic. 

Sangay Thinley said the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MOU) between the MoH, Bhutan, and the Ministry of Health and Indigenous Medical Services, Sri Lanka on the recruitment of medical specialists are still pending as the pandemic situation has not improved yet.

Currently, Bhutan’s healthcare ratio is low against the World Health Organization’s (WHO) recommendation of one doctor per 1000 population and would take a few more years to meet the WHO standard.

Sangay Thinley said the government is gradually working towards meeting the target and has already established seven cluster hospitals in phase-I to expand specialized services whereby a minimum of four specialist services – gynecologist, surgery, pediatric, and anesthesiologist – are to be provided.

Meanwhile, with the establishment of additional Covid-19 isolation hospitals and in the quest to provide critical health services, the health ministry has temporarily deployed specialists and doctors across the country including in the remotest pockets.

It has deployed 26 specialists and doctors to the Covid-19 hospitals in Phuentsholing, Gelephu, Mongar, and Trashigang, and 13 specialists and doctors to 10 dzongkhags and BHUs.

The beneficiaries include Laya and Lunana in Gasa, Lingzhi in Thimphu, Sombaykha in Haa, Khomshar in Zhemgang, Sakteng in Trashigang and Jangphutse in Trashiyangtse.

Sangay Thinley said these medical teams comprising a doctor, nurse, and desuup plus have been dispatched recently to manage Covid-19 and provide essential services in pursuance to progressive relaxation of Covid-19 preventive measures.

The health ministry deployed 39 specialists and doctors to Covid-19 hospitals and dzongkhags including the most remote gewogs.