Medical and Health Council Act, 2002

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Medical and Health Council Act of the Kingdom of Bhutan,2002_English version_






Medical and Health Council Act, 2002 of the Kingdom of Bhutan

Contents Page No

CHAPTER I: Preliminary 4- 6

1. Short title, commencement and extent
2. Definition

CHAPTER II: Establishment of the Council 7-10

1. Composition of the Council
2. Members of the Council
3. President of the Council
4. Vice President of the Council
5. Terms of office of the President and Vice President
6. Terms of the members of the Council
7. Meeting of the Council
8. Composition of subcommittees
9. Powers and functions of the Council
10. Administration of the Council

CHAPTER III: Establishment of new institutions and introduction

of new courses 10-11

1. Prior approval of the Council
2. Minimum requirements of the institutions
3. Recognition of institutions and courses


Contents Page No

CHAPTER IV: Recognition of academic qualifications and

withdrawal thereof 11-12

CHAPTER V: De-recognition of individuals, persons a nd academic

qualifications 13

CHAPTER VI: Power to make rules and regulations to

carry out the purposes of the Act 13-14

CHAPTER VII: National medical and health register 14-15

CHAPTER VIII: Offences and penalties 15

CHAPTER IX: Repeals and savings 15

CHAPTER X: Amendment 16

CHAPTER XI: The Schedules 16

1. Schedule I
2. Schedule II
3. Schedule III
4. Schedule IV


The Medical and Health Council Act, 2002 of the Kin gdom

of Bhutan


An act to provide for the constitution of a composite council for

regulation of the medical and health profession in all its aspects

especially in respect of ethics and matters connected therewith.

Whereas a council needs to be established for regulation of medical and

health profession in all its aspects and a common register for all

categories of medical and health professionals needs to be maintained;

And whereas, a uniform standard of education and training for all

categories of medical and health professionals needs to be ensured;

And whereas local and foreign medical and health institutions, scholars

and academicians needs to be recognised;

Be it enacted by the National Assembly on 24th July 2002 corresponding

to 15th day, 6th month of the Male Water Horse Year of the Bhutanese

calendar during the 28th year of the glorious rule of His Majesty the King,

Druk Gyalpo Jigme Singye Wangchuk as follows:-


CHAPTER I: Preliminary

1. Title, Commencement and Extent

a) This Act shall be cited as the Medical and Health Council Act,

b) This Act will come into force on 24th July 2002 corresponding to

15th day of the 6th month of the Male Water Horse Year of the
Bhutanese calendar.

c) This Act shall extend to the Kingdom of Bhutan and aircrafts,

vessels and other sovereign entities of Bhutan.

d) The words importing the masculine gender also include the
feminine gender.

e) The word importing the singular number also includes the plural

number and vice versa.

f) In case of discrepancy between the Dzongkha and English
version of the Act, the Dzongkha version shall prevail.

2. Definition - for the interpretation of this Act, unless the

context otherwise requires: -

(a) “Person ” means an individual, a company, an
unincorporated association, government agency or any body of
persons recognised as distinct legal entity.

(b) "Approved institution " means a teaching or training

institution, health facility or hospital recognised by the Council
for the purpose of training before awarding a certificate, a
diploma or a degree.


(c) "Board " means an examining body appointed by the RGOB
for the award of all certificates, diplomas, or degrees outside
the scope and jurisdiction of the Council.

(d) "Council " means - the Council established under this Act.

(e) "Medical Institute " means all institutions which award

certificates, diplomas or degrees in the fields of medical

(f) “Health Institute ” means all institutions which award

certificates, diplomas and degrees in the field of health and
health related subjects other than those, which come under
medical institutions.

(a) "Medical Professional " means practitioner of the art and

science of medicine who are duly authorised to do so by the
Council. This also includes dentists and practitioners of
traditional medicine

(b) "Health Professional " means all those professionals in the

field of health and health care who do not come under (g)

above, such as nursing, pharmacy, physiotherapy, medical

and health technology and technicians in various supportive

service units commonly known as paramedics.

(c) "Recognised qualification ” means all qualifications, which

are duly recognised by the Council.


(j) "Recognised Institution " means all institutions in the field

of medical and health science both within the Royal Kingdom
of Bhutan and outside that are duly recognised by the Council and
appear in its schedules.

(k) "Regulation " means all rules and regulations as made by

the Council from time to time.

(l) "Prescribed " means prescribed under the regulations.

(m) "National Register ” means the register maintained by the

(n) "Recognised University ” means any university within or

outside the country that is recognised by a competent
authority as appointed by the Royal Government.

(o) "Traditional Medicine " means indigenous medicine

recognised as a full-fledged branch of medical science.

(p) "Inspector/Advisor ” means such qualified person/s or
“visitor" who are capable of rendering advice or
recommendations to the Council with regards to specific
terms of reference, such as recognition of an institution or a
certificate, diploma or degree being imported by the
institution on the basis of an examination at the conclusion of
a course or a set of courses.


CHAPTER II: The Council

1. Constitution of the Medical and Health Council – The Royal
Government shall constitute a national council to be called the
Medical and Health Council with requisite members as the
Royal Government determines to be fit to exercise the powers
conferred on and perform the functions assigned to the Council
under this Act.

2. The Council shall have perpetual succession and a common

seal with power, subject to the provisions of this Act, to acquire,
hold and dispose of property and to contract, and may by the
aforesaid name sue or be sued.

3. Members of the Council - The Council constituted under this

Act shall consist of the following members, namely:-

Category A:

1. Medicine and allied medical specialities;
2. Surgery and surgical specialities;
3. Family planning;
4. Paediatrics;
5. Laboratory medicine - Pathology, Microbiology,

Biochemistry and their branches;
6. Dentistry;
1. Nursing;
2. Pharmacy;
3. Health care specialist in environmental medicine,

which includes water & sanitation and occupational

4. Paramedical professionals;
5. Health administration;


6. Re
7. habilitation;
8. Chief Medical Officer, Royal Bhutan Army;
9. Director, Institute of Traditional Medicine Services;
10. Director, Royal Institute of Health Sciences;

Category B

Representation from relevant organisations outside the
health sector including the private sector and civil society.

Category C:

Not more than three from a panel of names submitted to the
president by the Executive Committee

4. President – Minister/Deputy Minister/Secretary, Ministry of Health

and Education, shall be the ex-officio president of the Council.

5. Power of the President – The President of the Council may

exercise such powers and perform such duties as may be
prescribed from time to time by the Council.

6. Vice-President – the Deputy Minister/Secretary of the Ministry of

Health and Education shall be the ex-officio vice-president and
member secretary of the Council.

7. Members of the Council - Category A and C – shall be

nominated by the President of the Council. Category B - by the
respective heads of the organisations.

8. Terms of office - Terms of office of members other than ex-

officio members, under Category C shall be for three years. They
may be nominated for a second term, provided that the Council is
satisfied with their work.


9. Meeting of the Council - The Council shall meet at least twice a

year and shall observe such rules of procedure in regard to the
transactions of business at its meetings as may be prescribed. The
President may convene a meeting of the Council at such time as
he deems fit, if in his opinion any business of an urgent nature is
to be transacted.

10. Quorum of the meeting – A meeting can be conducted if three

fourth of the members are present

11. Administration of the Council - The Council shall be

administered by an Executive Committee appointed by the
President of the Council and shall consist of not more than 5 to 7

12. The Vice-President of the Council shall be the chairman of the

Executive Committee.

13. The Executive Committee shall be assisted by (i) the Registrar

who shall be the treasurer of the Council and shall be responsible
to the President through the Vice President (ii) Deputy Registrar
and (iii) requisite number of support staff as approved by the Royal

14. The Council shall be composed of the following Sub-committees:

i) Medical and Dental
ii) Health
iii) Nursing
iv) Pharmacy
v) Traditional medicine
vi) Paramedics and
vii) Professional ethics


15. The Council shall function through the subcommittees and meet

as and when necessary and give their recommendations to the
executive committee which at its discretion may get it ratified by
the general body of the Council before being finally approved by
the President.

16. The Council shall make separate schedules for recognised

institutions within and outside the country.

17. The Council shall make its regulations. At the initial stage the

regulations will form part and parcel of the Act. Thereafter, the
modifications of the regulations would have to be approved by the
Royal Government. Once approved, the Council shall be free to
frame its own rules of procedure as may be necessary from time to

18. The Council may for the purpose of recognition of institutions;

certificates, diplomas and degrees appoint inspectors or advisers
who shall submit a confidential report to the Council. Provided, the
report may be made public for public interest with the permission
of the President of the Council.

19. The Council shall after examining the report of institutions, its

courses and curricula, and the academic requisites, may recognise
medical and health institutions both within and outside the country
as well as the certificates, diplomas and degrees imparted by such
institutions and enter them in its schedules, which shall be
updated from time to time.

CHAPTER III: Establishment of new institutions and introduction

of new courses.

1a) No institution related to health and medicine shall be established

without prior sanction of the Council.


b) No institution related to health and medicine established under

Chapter III (1) shall introduce a training leading to a certificate,
diploma or degree course without the prior approval of the Council.

2. The Council shall from time to time frame minimum requirements

for the establishment of specific health and medical institutions.

3. The Council may recognise an institution or a course leading to

the award of a qualification after it is satisfied that such a course
and or institution fully meets minimum standard of training facilities
such as staff, equipment, physical facilities, etc.

CHAPTER IV: Recognition of academic qualifications

1. The Council shall upon receipt of an application recognise an
institution awarding a qualification that is not included in schedule I
and II.

2. The Council shall recognise an academic qualification awarded by a
foreign institution provided that they are registered under schedule IV
of the Act.

3. The Council shall enter into negotiation with appropriate foreign

authorities and institutions for reciprocal schemes, for the recognition
of qualifications.

4. The Council shall after obtaining approval of the Royal Government

modify any or all Schedules or part thereof.

5. The Council shall institute screening/examination, either oral or
written, or both for the purpose of registering a candidate who has
obtained such qualification from institutions which are not included in
the schedule IV.


6. No medical or health person except those, who are registered under
this Act, may practice in the country.

7. The Council shall allow foreign visiting professionals for a specific

period and there shall be a register maintained to this effect.

8. A person who is duly registered under this Act, depending on

qualification and existing government policies, may: -

i. Practice in any part of the country;

ii. Prescribe medicine;

iii. Issue medical certificate;

i. Be appointed in any government institution in their
respective specialities and

ii. Deposit testimony in the court of law as an expert witness

9. The Council shall have authority to require any medical and health

institution to furnish information to the Council or institution and
individual duly authorised in carrying out the purposes of this Act.

10. The council may appoint observers/visitors to any examination in

any subject pertaining to medical and health sciences in any

11. The examiner/visitor/observer shall submit a report to the Council,

which shall be treated as confidential unless otherwise directed by
the president of the council.


CHAPTER V: De-recognition of individuals, instituti ons and

academic qualifications.

1. The council shall for the purpose of recognition of an

institution/individual or withdrawal of recognition thereof, on the
basis of reports submitted to the Council by its sub committee
bring to the notice of the applicant/institution/individual of such
deficiency and offences with regards to facilities, number of
teachers, teaching facilities, examination system and other

2. Individual/institution committing offences besides being

derecognised shall be proceeded with as per laws for damage or
injury due to the said offences.

CHAPTER VI: Power to make rules and regulations

The Council may by notification make rules and regulations to carry out
the purposes of this Act. Without prejudice to the generality of this
power, such rules and regulations may amongst others provide for the

a) Management and maintenance of the property of the Council
and audit of account thereof.

b) Holding of the meetings of the Council and its subcommittees.

c) Nomination, appointment, resignations and terminations of the

members of the Council.

d) Power and duties of the office bearers of the Council.

e) Mechanisms and procedures of appointment of the members of
the Executive Committee, Sub-Committees and other


f) Tenure of office of the members and office bearers of the


g) Preparation of schemes, strategies and programmes toward
achieving the objectives of the Council.

h) Setting up of minimum criteria for recognition of institutes,

teachers, and courses.

i) Fixation of the amount of fees payable by individuals and
institutions for registration.

j) Fixation of amount of fees payable by institutions for recognition

and inspections.

a) Criteria and procedures for appointments of inspectors,
visitors, observers and their terms of references.

b) Framing of guidelines for the conduct of examinations of ……..

c) Minimum requirement for induction of teachers of medical and

health sciences.

n) Standards of professional conduct, etiquette and code of ethics
to be observed by all professionals.

CHAPTER VII: National medical and health register

1. The Council shall maintain a register of medical and health

professionals who are duly recognised by the Council. The register
shall consist of the following parts:

i) Practitioners of modern medicine
ii) Practitioners of traditional medicine
iii) Dentists
iv) Nurses


v) Pharmacists
i) Paramedics and
ii) Temporary and ad hoc registration

2. The Council may prescribe reasonable fees for registration

of an individual.

3. The duration of the period for initial registration of an individual

shall be five years where after they will be required to re-register
for continued practice.

4. The individual may register with the Council additional

qualifications acquired with the payment of registration fee.

CHAPTER VIII: Offences and penalties

Who ever fails to comply with the provisions of this Act shall be
proceeded with under the relevant provisions of the laws of the land.

CHAPTER IX: Repeal and saving

1. Upon coming into force of this Act, any law or by-law pertaining
to the subject matter addressed by this Act shall be dealt with
under this Act.

2. Notwithstanding the repeal in (1), anything done or action taken

before coming into force of this Act shall be deemed to have
been done or taken under such laws or by-laws.


CHAPTER X: Amendment

The Council shall review the Act from time to time to ensure that such
provisions of the Act are in keeping with the changing situations and
propose amendments and modifications thereto as and when
necessary. The Act shall be amended by way of addition, variation or
repeal of any provision, by the National Assembly of the Kingdom of

CHAPTER XI: The Schedules

Schedule I

1. Modern medicine
2. Traditional medicine
3. Dentistry

Schedule II – Recognised qualifications:

1. Nursing

2. Pharmacy

3. Laboratory science

4. Environmental health

5. Medical technology

6. Occupational health

7. Health administration

8. Health economics

Schedule III - Recognised Institutions in the Kingdom of


Schedule IV – International qualification recognised by the