Lotay Tshering Is Bhutan's PM On Weekdays, Surgeon Over Weekend
Fulfilling the responsibilities and duties as a Prime Minister of a country comprising of more than 8 lakh people is itself a huge thing. But that doesn’t stop the Prime Minister of Bhutan, who is also a surgeon, from attending patients and operating on them. For him, it’s a de-stresser.
Dr. Lotay Tshering, the Prime Minister of Bhutan has been regarded as one of the most reputed and the best doctors in the country even before he entered politics. While his duties as a Prime Minister occupy him for the whole week, on weekends he prefers to don his lab coat and return to the hospital to treat his patients.
“Some people play golf, some archery, but I like to operate. I am just spending my weekends here,” says Tshering while attending his patients on a Saturday morning at Jigme Dorji Wangchuck national referral hospital. He also spends his Thursday mornings giving medical advice to trainee doctors. Tshering told AFP that he wants to continue doing this until he dies. “I miss not being able to be here every day. Whenever I drive to work on weekdays, I wish I could turn left towards the hospital,” he added.
Bumthap, Tshering’s patient, who underwent a five-hour bladder repair surgery, says that he is satisfied with the results. “Now that I have been operated on by the prime minister, who is regarded as one of the best doctors in the country, I feel more relieved,” he told AFP.
Tshering feels that he has even found an unexpected crossover between the Prime Minister and a surgeon. He says that at the hospital he scans and treats patients whereas in the government he scans the health of policies and tries to make them better. Tshering has also made healthcare as part of his political agenda, reports The Guardian.
Dr. Lotay Tshering who got trained in Japan, Australia, United States, and Bangladesh, started his political career in 2013, however, his party failed in the elections. But in November 2018, he was voted in as the Prime Minister of Bhutan, a Buddhist kingdom on the Himalayas’ eastern edge benchmarking itself on happiness instead of economic growth.
Bhutan is a carbon negative country and its constitution mandates that 60% of the country remains forested. It is also ranked as the happiest country in Asia and has seen a great improvement in life expectancy rate, elimination of many infectious diseases, but, it is still struggling with the same issues as that of its neighbours such as unemployment, increasing crime rate and health-related issues.