Participants of the meeting.

Health Kalon Mr Choekyong Wangchuk today inaugurated a daylong review meeting on the Tibetan Medicare System (TMS), a social healthcare programme of the Department of Health, that seeks to improve public health and well-being of the Tibetan community in-exile through access to “quality secondary and tertiary healthcare.” At least 15 Tibetan nurses and health workers from 13 different settlements are participating in the programme being held at the conference hall of Hotel Tibet, Mcleod Ganj.

In his inaugural remarks, Health Kalon explained the evolution of the Tibetan Medicare System since it was first discussed in the Tibetan parliament in 2007 and how it came about to its present status.

He said: “Taking into consideration the importance of Tibetan public health, there was much deliberation and discussion for a comprehensive and equitable health care coverage for the public since 2007. Therefore, the Tibetan Medicare System was formally launched in 2012 by the Kashag to provide a holistic healthcare coverage for the public based on a sustainable finance source.”

He described TMS as a completely non-profit and charitable programme with welfare of the Tibetan public as its sole objective. He outlined several features of the healthcare project, essentially illustrating the department’s welfare motive and called it one of the best healthcare coverage programmes in the country.

Kalon also talked about the growing support and participation of the public in the programme over the last six years. However, he emphasised that there is still much work to be done with regard to raising more awareness about the benefits of the programme.

He spoke about the challenges that the department continues to face with regard to TMS and urged the staff of health department to act as free spokespersons of the programme to create more awareness about TMS. He explained that as more people starts to enroll in the programme, the financial coverage would also get better.

Mr Kalden Norbu, chief coordinator of Tibetan Medicare System, delivered the welcome remarks of the meeting.

The daylong meeting will review the overall performance of the programme and discuss the progress of TMS over the years. The meeting will also discuss the reasons for low or high performance in certain settlements as well as other bureaucratic procedures such as reimbursments, bill claiming system etc.

The two resource persons for the programme are Dr Aloke Gupta and Dr Vikas.

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