Bhutan PM spends his Saturday mornings treating patients & performing surgeries

He says that he was not born a doctor, but will die as one.

Tanya Ong | March 20, 2019, 02:11 PM

This is Lotay Tshering, the Prime Minister of Bhutan:

Photo via FB/Lotay Tshering.

He was sworn in as Bhutan's Prime Minister on Nov. 7, 2018, at the age of 50.

Recently, a widely shared Facebook post has been making its rounds, describing his qualifications and contributions as a doctor in Bhutan:

Still treats patients

The Prime Minister of Bhutan, who is medically trained, apparently still makes time to serve patients.

According to an interview, he revealed that he will see patients and conducts surgeries on Saturday mornings.

On Thursdays, he also does academic rounds from 7:30am to 10am, dishing out advice to trainees and new doctors.

He said:

"I won't leave my practice for anything. All that I am today is because of that, even becoming a Prime Minister. Therefore, even today I see patients and conduct surgeries every Thursday and Saturday morning."

"I was not born a doctor, but I will die as one," he added.

Medically trained

Lotay Tshering received his medical degree in 2001.

He subsequently pursued a fellowship in General Urology at the Medical College of Wisconsin in Milwaukee, becoming the only trained and practicing urologist in Bhutan.

In 2010, he also obtained a fellowship in Endourology at Singapore General Hospital, Singapore and Okayama University, Japan.

As a doctor, he was known to work 15 to 18 hour long days, forgoing weekend breaks to treat patients at the hospital.

Continued to volunteer medical services

In 2013, he paid BTN 6.2 million (about S$122,101) to clear service obligations, and resigned from the civil service to join politics.

This, according to him, was in a bid to "fix systemic problems" at a policy level:

“As a doctor, I can only address the problems of individual patients. We can fix systemic problems only at the policy level."

However, he has still continued to volunteer medical services when required, such as during the Nepal earthquake in 2015:

As part of the King's mobile medical unit, he has also travelled to remote villages to provide medical check-ups and surgeries:

Top photo via FB/Thank You Dr. Lotay.