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National Assembly passes the motion to stop the Corporatization of Jigme Dorji Wangchuck National Referral Hospital (JDWNRH)

Posted on :23 November 2017

National Assembly passes the motion to stop the Corporatization of Jigme Dorji Wangchuck National Referral Hospital (JDWNRH)

The Member from Panbang constituency moved the motion to stop corporatization of JDWNRH by the government with immediate effect giving due respect to the rights of the people of Bhutan as enshrined in the Constitution of Bhutan to provide free basic health services. Concerns were raised that corporatization would impede the future well-being of the people and the nation and affect equitable access to public health services and quality of lives of the people and widen the gap between rich and poor. Since the problem pertains mainly to retention of medical specialists, the government was urged to explore other options to solve the issue either through organizational or financial measures.

 

The Health Minister clarified that a proposal to corporatize JDWNRH was carried out with with the objective to improve and provide quality and timely services to the people.   Furthermore, consultations and research are being conducted with relevant stakeholders. A report would be submitted to the Lhengye Zhungtshog by December this year. The decision to corporatize JDWNRH has not yet been taken.

 

The House, in accordance with Section 174 of the National Assembly Act 2008, passed the motion based on a majority vote. Out of the 39 members present and voting, 19 voted “Yes”, 15 “No” and 5 “Abstain”.

  

Private Sector Development Committee Reports on the National Employment Situation

The Dy. Chairperson of the Committee outlined the national employment situation, youth engagement and job plan 2016-17 and 2017-18, challenges faced and submitted 5 recommendations for consideration by the House. The general unemployment rate, as per the draft Labour Force Survey Report 2016, decreased from 2.5% in 2015 to 2.1% in 2016. However, youth unemployment has increased from 10.7% to 13.2%.

 

Some of the challenges faced in the overseas employment programs were inattractive wages, difficult working conditions, risks of abuse at workplaces, limited access to finance while in the direct employment schemes there was the problem of high turnover of jobseekers, mismatch of jobs and skills, limited absorption capacity of our local job market and preference for desk jobs.

The five recommendations submitted by the Committee were (i) to encourage the financial institutions to come forward to grant loans under the overseas education loan schemes, (ii) to support and encourage private sector development, (iii) to provide career oriented vocational skills trainings and education, (iv) to encourage self-employment, and (v) to consider tuition fee support for language courses.  

 

The House endorsed all five recommendations submitted by the Committee.

 

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