There are presently 7 Hospitals, 5 Primary Health Centers (PHC) and 38 Clinics with two mobile clinics, one for remote nomadic areas in Ladakh and the other for the Doon Valley and Ngoenga School for children with special needs. There are total of 181 staffs (both medical and non medical) working at these health centers, these staffs are appointed and administered directly by the Department of Health as per stipulated rules and regulations of Central Tibetan Administration (CTA). Among the staffs the Department has appointed several Executive Secretaries to administer hospitals and primary health centers at local level, whereas clinics are concern, respective settlement officers under the Department of Home are local administrators. The Department is also responsible for the transfer of its staffs.
The Department with the financial assistance from its donors bears running expenses of these hospitals and PHCs including salaries of the staffs and other recurring and non-recurring expenses. On top of that, the Department also undertakes the implementation of special projects in the interest of primary health care services.
The Health Kalon and the Health Secretary on ex-officio basis are the Chairman and Vice-Chairman of the Board of Directors (BoDs) of both the Tibetan Medical and Astro Institute (TMAI) and Delek hospital, located in Dharamsala, Himachal Pradesh. And all the bills passed in the meeting of BoDs are thoroughly discussed and approved under the Chairmanship of the Health Kalon and the Health Secretary.
Public Health Division:
The Public Health Division of the Department of Health, CTA works in the area of disease prevention and health promotion through implementation of various public health programs with the overall objective to improve community health status and to reduce the burden of diseases within the Tibetan community.
The division is further divided into various sections like Mother and Child Health, Health Information system section, TB Control, Health Education and Training, Health Media, Disability Support, HIV and Substance Abuse Prevention, Mental Health and Tibetan Torture survivor’s rehabilitation and Hepatitis B control project.
The main areas of work conducted by the Public Health Division include:
1) Provision of medical and social support services to improve access to care among the needy Individuals like HIV patients, substance abuse victims, TB patients, mental health patients, pregnant women, Torture survivors, destitute and the disabled individuals.
2) Health awareness and outreach in settlements, schools and monasteries to reduce the overall burden of diseases within the Tibetan community through observance of the various WHO designated world health days, health education sessions by the field health workers, capacity building training to the health staffs, publication of educational materials and mobile health education initiatives.
3) Implementation of preventive health initiatives like free and subsidized Pap smear screening and HPV vaccination, TB screening, Immunization of children under the age of five and antenatal checkups. Other screening services are also planned and implemented on a yearly basis based on the proposed project and availability of funds.
The Program Officer and the various program coordinators of the Public Health Division communicate and coordinate routinely with the field health staffs to facilitate the provision of these curative and preventive health services to the target beneficiaries and to successfully implement, monitor and evaluate the programs at the local level.
Project and Account Division:
Project section is responsible to ensure adequate supply of safe and clean drinking water in the Tibetan settlements, schools, monasteries, nunneries, etc. Provision of safe and clean drinking water, in addition to clean and hygienic sanitation facilities, constitutes a major factor in the promotion of public health in the exile community.
Provision of safe drinking water and clean sanitation facilities commonly includes the following:
- Construction of water tanks;
- Drilling of bore wells;
- Construction and renovation of toilets, bathrooms, drainage, septic tanks and garbage disposal;
- Provision of water filtration tanks and treatment plants like reverse osmosis plant (RO)
This section raises funds to facilitate ambulance services that provide medical stand-by 24 hours a day in all the Tibetan settlements; construction and renovation of hospitals and its staff quarters; and also appealing to individuals, corporate and associations to adopt one of the clinics of Health Department.
Over the past two years, this section has been organizing free eye camps in the Tibetan settlements in order to prevent avoidable blindness.