TVPA are working towards consolidating the efforts of Doctor Ugyen at Cheda Shol, in the Tibetan Autonomous Region by establishing his new Clinic, plus, assisting him in creating a network of people in isolated areas to teach them first aid. We have provided a green house to provide food for his patients.
We have completed a new facility in Suhurong, situated in Minyak, Kham.
Problem: Despite of healthcare efforts being made, most of the rural Tibetans still face enormous challenges due to lack of accessibility to treatment, and lack of affordability of basic healthcare. Common health problems in the area where TVPA works include tuberculosis, epilepsy, arthritis, chronic respiratory infection, rickets, malnutrition, diarrhea, high blood pressure and other gastro-intestinal problems. In addition, many villagers sustain injuries while working on farms or while taking care of animals that require immediate medical attention. For example, patients sometimes suffer from an infected wound or from a broken leg or arm that paralyzes that person if the broken piece is not properly positioned and treated.
There are four distinct levels of health care facilities available in Tibet: the municipal level, the county level, the township level, and the village level. The quality and accessibility of healthcare at the village level, where about 80% of Tibetans still live, is much poorer than at the municipal level. For example, the municipal level hospitals have CAT Scans whereas many of the village level clinics do not even have a single patient bed let alone a qualified doctor. The structure of healthcare in Tibet is currently changing to a community medical system (CMS). In this new system, patients sign up at their community health center and pay a small annual fee plus a co-payment with each visit. This fee basically pays the salary of healthcare workers and buys medical supplies. Unfortunately, most of the rural villages are too poor to build their own clinics and enroll in CMS. In spite of the problems with the CMS system, there are a number of reasons why we have decided to operate the clinic within this system:
CMS is backed by the government.
The villages who are enrolled in CMS receive medical treatment regardless of how many times they see a doctor.
The government provides medical supplies (beyond what we provide) for free or at a substantial discount as long as refills are reasonably based on the number of patients the clinic treats.
Patients who have serious health needs beyond the clinic's capability, such as health problems that require surgery, can be referred to better-equipped hospitals at the county or municipal level. This is very expensive and beyond the reach of the average Tibetan.
Our effort: As of now, TVPA has assisted in the building of a clinic and secured two other clinics recognized by the local government. Through medical treatment and prevention education, our clinics benefit over 16,500 patients annually. TVPA supports the clinics by providing medical supplies, equipment, stipends, and frequent training opportunities for healthcare workers. TVPA needs your help to continue our medical program so please consider donating today.