Quality assurance of the university medical education, hospital services and traditional pharmaceutical products of the Bhutanese So-wa-rig-pa health care system

Wangchuk, Phurpa, and Tashi, (2016) Quality assurance of the university medical education, hospital services and traditional pharmaceutical products of the Bhutanese So-wa-rig-pa health care system. BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine, 16. 283. pp. 1-18.

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Abstract

Background: The Bhutanese So-wa-rig-pa medicine (BSM) was integrated with the allopathic (modern) health care system in 1967. Ever since the health care integration policy was implemented, the BSM has gone through many phases of quality improvement and changes including the establishment of one university-based institute, 58 hospitals and Basic Health Units (BHU)-based health care services, and one traditional medicine factory. The BSM provides primary health care services to more than 20–30 % of patients who visit hospitals and BHU on a daily basis. However, there has been no study covering the quality assurance system of BSM. Our paper addresses this information gap.

Methods: This study was an observational ethnographic study supported by phenomenological understanding and content analysis of the data. The information was triangulated through consultation with the BSM practitioners (discussion (N = 8)) and personalized in-depth question-answer sessions using electronic protocols (N = 5). These participants comprised BSM educationists, clinical physicians, researchers, production and the quality assurance staff who were selected using convenience and purposive sampling method. The relevant So-wa-rig-pa information and literature were obtained from the government policy documents, official websites, scientific papers and the traditional medical texts. This study is enhanced by our practical observations and first-hand experience with BSM while working as the researchers at the Ministry of Health in Bhutan. In addition, the information in this paper is crosschecked and authenticated by five So-wa-rig-pa practitioners of Bhutan.

Results: The study highlights the following: a) The BSM receives both the government and people's support, b) The quality assurance system have been developed by integrating the traditional empirical knowledge and modern scientific protocols, c) There exist three administrative and functional organizations responsible for providing the quality BSM health care services in Bhutan, d) Extensive standard treatment guidelines and Quality documentation system exist for BSM as required by the regulatory bodies in Bhutan. The paper also recommends appropriate future directions for BSM.

Conclusions: The BSM plays significant role in the primary health care system of the country. Consequently, the quality, safety and efficacy of BSM has been given priority by the Bhutan government. Many scientific protocols were integrated with the traditional quality approaches and further scientific studies are still required to improve its quality.

Item ID: 45188
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1472-6882
Keywords: quality assurance system, quality control parameter, Bhutanese So-wa-rig-pa medicine, integrated health care services, traditional medical education, traditional medicine hospital, Menjong sorig pharmaceuticals
Additional Information:

© 2016 The Author(s). Open Access.

This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver (http://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/) applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated.

Date Deposited: 24 Aug 2016 00:19
FoR Codes: 11 MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES > 1117 Public Health and Health Services > 111799 Public Health and Health Services not elsewhere classified @ 20%
11 MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES > 1104 Complementary and Alternative Medicine > 110499 Complementary and Alternative Medicine not elsewhere classified @ 80%
SEO Codes: 92 HEALTH > 9202 Health and Support Services > 920205 Health Education and Promotion @ 60%
92 HEALTH > 9202 Health and Support Services > 920208 Health Inequalities @ 20%
92 HEALTH > 9202 Health and Support Services > 920299 Health and Support Services not elsewhere classified @ 20%
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