Major healthcare in Bhutan: Insights and suggestions from PHCPI evaluation

Jigmi Wangdi

Addressing disparities in entry, service utilisation, and well being outcomes between city and rural areas is essential for attaining fairness within the healthcare system, which requires complete coverage consideration, particularly contemplating ongoing useful resource challenges and the influence of the Covid-19 pandemic.

That is in keeping with the Major Well being Care Efficiency Initiative Evaluation (PHCPI).

To evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of Bhutan’s main healthcare system and formulate actionable coverage suggestions to enhance the system, the World Financial institution, in collaboration with the Ministry of Well being, performed the PHCPI. 

The research additionally acknowledged that Bhutan’s PHC system has a transparent organisation and repair supply construction primarily based on well being facility catchment zones. Nonetheless, migration from rural to city areas has led to overcrowding in city hospitals and underutilisation of well being amenities in rural areas.

The report additionally highlighted that there are alternatives to strengthen the capability of the PHC system to ship high-quality care, handle rising challenges equivalent to NCDs and psychological well being, and enhance pandemic preparedness.

The report recommends investing in enhancing the supply, competencies, and satisfaction of healthcare employees, together with selling equitable distribution, availability, and competencies of healthcare employees, and strengthening the village well being employee programme. 

Well being Economist on the World Financial institution in South Asia, Kathryn Andrews, who led the research, mentioned that probably the most essential takeaways from the PHCPI was that strategic investments and well being care in Bhutan had resulted in a powerful PHC system in Bhutan.

“Bhutan’s dedication to offering free well being providers on the level of care together with efforts to enhance well being system governance has supplied a really robust basis for PHC. There was measurable progress and inhabitants well being and well being service provision and the Nationwide Happiness coverage set a powerful basis for underlying main care,” Kathryn mentioned. 

Kathryn famous that there have been enhancements in key reproductive, maternal, and youngster well being indicators, in addition to in life expectancy. Nonetheless, she highlighted the regarding pattern of rising non-communicable illnesses and psychological well being situations in Bhutan and globally.


To boost the first healthcare system in Bhutan, the report emphasised a number of essential points that want consideration.

One advice is to make use of digital well being options to boost the standard and effectivity of main healthcare in Bhutan. This, in keeping with the report, may be achieved by bettering the capabilities of information platforms to boost service supply and affected person expertise. Establishing a national-level telehealth programme can be anticipated to enhance equitable entry to care and the effectivity of service provision.

The report underscores the significance of investing within the capacities of the first healthcare system to boost its high quality and successfully handle rising challenges, together with non-communicable illnesses (NCDs), psychological well being points, and pandemic preparedness. 

This includes strengthening the supply of important sources to make sure equitable entry and secure service supply. Moreover, introducing a scientific monitoring and analysis framework for high quality requirements is essential for making certain steady enchancment.

One other advice from the report is to put money into bettering the supply, competencies, and satisfaction of healthcare employees. This may be achieved by selling equitable distribution and availability of healthcare employees by means of recruitment and retention efforts. 

Offering well timed incentives and assist is predicted to additional improve their satisfaction and motivation. 

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