2017 Bhutan Trip

April – May, 2017

Another fantastic fulfilling trip to Bhutan. The Ministry of Health and Royal Government of Bhutan have signed the Memorandum of Understanding with Interplast Australia and New Zealand ensuring our ongoing collaboration over the next 3 years. The other partners are JDWNR Hospital, in the capital Thimphu and the University of Medical Sciences.

This 4 way partnership will ensure ongoing education and capacity building in Bhutan. This was my ninth trip to Bhutan over the last 8 years since Dr Tsewang Thinley, Orthopaedic Surgeon and I established a collaboration which has led to development of better hand surgery and more comprehensive hand/arm rehabilitation and better outcomes. Interplast have clearly increased that capacity over the past 2 years and grown the program.

The Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery which Dr Tim Proudman and Dr Robert Coren undertook was really outstanding and not possible for these patients otherwise. Megan Fitzgerald, Hand Therapist from Melbourne and I worked with the local Physiotherapy team to undertake post-operative care at our Hand Therapy Clinic at JDWNR Hospital in the capital Thimphu. Suzanne completed formal training to 9 local and regional staff who came to the capital to observe and train in advanced hand therapy rehabilitation.

The donations provided through our charity fund and our very generous patients, provided much needed scar care products which enhance patient’s results and decrease scar contracture and disfigurement. They would not be available without your support. I also visited His Excellency Mr Tandin Dorji, Minister of Health and his expert team at the Ministry of Health to discuss our outcomes and plans for the next trip. He has been enormously supportive of our program.

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"We’ve helped set up hand care clinics in Bhutan, provided specialist equipment and trained local staff."