“The State shall provide free access to basic health services in both modern and traditional medicines.”
-The Constitution of the kingdom of Bhutan
It was His Majesty the Fourth King of Bhutan, King Jigme Singye Wangchuck who formulated the concept of Gross National Happiness, which emphasized the need of happiness as an indicator to determine the progressive growth of a nation and its people. With all the development processes in Bhutan being guided by the GNH philosophy and Health being one of the domains of GNH, providing free healthcare system for all Bhutanese people has become imperative in promoting happiness for all times to come. This reason gave birth to the establishment of the Trust Fund. Bhutan Health Trust Fund (BHTF) plays a pivotal role in realising the goals of GNH especially pertaining to improving health and living standards for the people of Bhutan by providing free Primary Health Care services.
With the Royal Government of Bhutan’s key concern being the sustainability of this idea of free health care system, on 12th May 1998, the Bhutan Health Trust Fund was officially launched at the World Health Organization (WHO) headquarters in Geneva. The Royal Charter which was issued by His Majesty the Fourth King of Bhutan, Jigme Singye Wangchuck on 4th August 2000 provides the legal framework for its establishment and governance.
lus lu na tsha med, sem lu sdug sngal med (no illness, no worries)
-A popular Bhutanese saying