Govt. approves Nu 1.3bn for Health Flagship Program

After numerous deliberations, the government has finalized Health Flagship Program with an approved budget Nu 1.3bn at the Prime Minister’s Office yesterday.

The Health Flagship program focuses on the prevention, early screening and treatment of the three cancers – cervical, breast and stomach. The government also aims to take all basic diagnostic services to the people at regular intervals.

According to the ‘Executive’ – the report of the government’s one year term in office, this flagship program aims to take all basic diagnostic services to the people to the doorsteps.

 “At the secondary level, rural homes could expect health workers at their doorsteps for routine tests. It comes as part of the health flagship that intensifies fight against non-communicable diseases and early detection of cervical and stomach cancer.”

The flagship program will also help to address one of the biggest challenges for people living in rural areas in availing common health services. At the tertiary level, the government is hoping to achieve progress in multi-disciplinary hospital in close consultation with the counterparts in India.

This flagship is reportedly designed to narrow the gap between primary and secondary healthcare system in the country.

“Cervical cancer, despite it being easily preventable, detectable and curable, unfortunately is the leading cause of death among our women; gastric cancer causes the maximum death and there is increasing cases of breast cancers,” states the Executive.

Meanwhile, the government is yet to approve the 12 proposed flagship programs. This health flagship is among the 12 proposed flagship programs.

Further, under this flagship program, the government will establish testing facilities at 20 health centers, with one in each district, through procurement of UBT test equipment and reagents, and training among others.

Kinley Yonten from Thimphu