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Medical Assistance Activity in Bhutan


In October 2013, Kyoto University Hospital concluded a medical exchange agreement with the Bhutan Ministry of Health and the University of Medical Science of Bhutan to develop young doctors in Bhutan. Based on this agreement, we dispatched medical staff including doctors, nurses, technicians and nutritionists to Jigme Dorji Wangchuck National Referral Hospital (hereinafter referred to as “JDW Hospital”), which is the flagship hospital of Bhutan, for 3 years following the agreement to provide medical support and participate in international exchanges. The agreement expired after 3 years, but there was a lot of positive feedback in Bhutan that the dispatch of medical staff from our hospital has been very beneficial to improve the medical situation in Bhutan. To continue with this project, the agreement involving the four parties of Kyoto University Hospital, the University of Medical Science of Bhutan, the Bhutan Ministry of Health, and JDW Hospital was renewed in October 2017. And, we resumed the dispatch of our medical staff to JDW Hospital. Based on the agreement, we are mainly performing the following three activities:

  • Dispatch of medical staff including doctors as requested by Bhutan
  • Assistance with the development of a residency training program through clinical practice
  • Instruction on public health and how to use medical equipment to improve the medical environment in Bhutan

Medical staff members dispatched from Kyoto University Hospital to conduct medical activities in Bhutan, with its national philosophy of “Gross National Happiness (GNH),” have obtained valuable opportunities not only to contribute to the improvement of healthcare in Bhutan, but also to review the practices in Japan through medical care with limited medical equipment and to think about “what is happiness.”

Signing ceremony (October, 2017)