Staff Correspondent: Given the shortage of medical specialists in the country, Bhutan Prime Minister Dr Lotay Tshering said Bhutan will request Bangladesh for specialists.
“I will request PM Sheikh Hasina to support us with some (medical) specialists that will be an immediate help for Bhutan”, said Dr.Lotay Tshering said in a recent exclusive interview with South Asian Monitor.
Dr. Lotay Tshering, is set to visit Bangladesh on 12th April 2019. Prime Minister Tshering an alumnus of Mymensingh Medical College under Dhaka University.
Earlier, the Bhutan PM during the ninth Friday meet on March 22, said the government is expecting Bangladesh to help Bhutan in terms of health professionals, especially specialists. “They also have shortages of specialists, but with many mid-level specialists, we will use the bilateral relations we have with Bangladesh to seek help.”
Dr. Lotay Tshering said without the help of the government of Bangladesh it would be difficult to get their specialists to work in Bhutan because private practices are allowed there (Bangladesh).
“With our monetary incentives, we cannot have them work with us so we are planning to do this at the government level,” he said. “We are hoping to have some of their medical professionals in the country through political interference, this is one of the main things that we are hoping for.”
Responding to a question on the issues in the agenda during the prime minister’s visit to Bangladesh, Dr Lotay Tshering said that Bangladesh was the only country where Bhutan enjoys trade surplus. “We have no issues with Bangladesh,” he said.
Besides health, Bhutan and Bangladesh are expected to forge new cooperation in the field of trade, agriculture, tourism and human resource development during the prime minister’s state visit.
On the government’s take on BBIN (Bangladesh, Bhutan Motor Vehicles Agreement (MVA), the prime minister said that the government was open to discussions.
He said that the former government supported it, but it got shot down from different angles. “We are reviewing this. If it benefits our country, then we will go ahead but this government will have our own stand on this.”
The government would consider both short- and long-term advantages and disadvantages of the BBIN. “At the end of the day Gross Domestic Product (GDP) must always be balanced by Gross National Happiness (GNH) and we are having repeated discussions on this.”
While the government is open to discussions, the prime minister said after all the consultations and discussions, the government will let the nation and international fraternity knows about its decision on the BBIN.