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Health Care, Disease Control, Crime and Safety in Bhutan

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The Kingdom of Bhutan has a unique healthcare system where people are provided with free healthcare services involving both the modern and traditional systems. These systems comprise the country’s national healthcare delivery network which is divided into the central and district levels. The central level is administered by the Ministry of Health and other related agencies, while the district level manages the delivery of basic health services to the population through district hospitals, health units and clinics provided by outreach organizations. The modern healthcare system was introduced in the country in 1960 but the government sees to it that the indigenous medical services are well adapted to the modern healthcare practices.

The traditional system of medicine in the country or the gso-ba rig pa has been an integral part of the national healthcare delivery system since 1967, prescribing the traditional herbal-based medicines in the treatment of persons afflicted with diseases through a profound and holistic approach.

The national government now maintains a universal healthcare system for all its citizens. This system takes care of Bhutanese patients who cannot be treated in any medical facility in the country, by bringing them to the hospitals in India for treatment paid for by the Bhutanese government. It also implements the Rural Tele-Medicine Project that aims to provide life-saving treatment to critically ill patients in remote locations of the country, and therefore improve accessibility of healthcare by its citizens.

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