Health Help Center in Bhutan

Health Help Center in Bhutan – Ministry of Health, RGoB

Project Scope

To provide Emergency and Health Advice services across the country of Bhutan with Centralized Health Help Center (HHC) operated by a group of trained domain and other experts. Setting up and operate the Health Help Center for medical information and emergency management services in Bhutan that is accessible by any citizen and/or a visitor in the country. The medical emergency service is provided by a fleet of 60 ambulances equipped with all the necessary medical equipment and trained professionals of emergency medical domain. The ambulances are strategically located across the country so that time to reach the incident is minimized and the ambulances are tracked on real time to monitor the service to be provided in the 'golden hour' and save the life of a victim or minimize the damage to the victim.

Technology Deployed

Healthcare Helpline & Emergency Response System contact center with a capacity of 25 trained professionals on a robust infrastructure tightly integrated to the software systems of applications that consist of logging the incidents, providing computer enabled protocol based triage and other relevant medical services; (Medical-Officer/Counsellor, Information provider, Complaint logger), and providing coordinated emergency response service ( Medical, Police and Fire) for all the people of the country.

The Applications will have strong computer telephone integration, integrated with the GIS MAPs based Vehicle tracking system. The mobile phone based applications will provide the automatic updates of various stages in the service delivery reducing the human intervention and increasing the accuracy of the data captured.


Health Help Center is an initiative under the Accelerating Bhutan’s Socio-economic Development (ABSD) program with performance compact signed by the Ministry of Health with the Prime Minister of Bhutan. Health Help Center is a unique model of Health Advisory and Emergency service delivery to the people of Bhutan, through an integrated platform built on the ICT technologies and harmonized to the local operating framework. Bhutan is a country with majority of its population living in the rural area and having a very in-adequate number of qualified & skilled professionals. It is a challenge to address the health needs of the country both in life threatening emergency situations and for the minor acute ailments.

Need Defined by McKinsey Consultants in Bhutan:

• Improve accessibility through Mobile / fixed line / physical access
• Strengthen curative (health helpline, referral, medical provisioning), preventive (maternal Checkups, infant monitoring, disease surveillance) and protective (emergency etc) health services
• Up skilling of paramedics and effective use of scarce human resources such as doctors and specialists
• Provide access to health professional within 1 hr (technology enabled) to over 90% of population by 2013
• Provision for access anytime: 24x7
• Provision for access to healthcare from anywhere: Telephone based, online service Considering that traditional solutions are ineffective, very long gestation period (sometime decades) and unevenly huge capital and operational costs in solving issues around access, an ICT-enabled solution was conceptualized as an alternative channel to supplement the traditional channels of service delivery to increase communication access from anywhere, anytime through toll free number 112.

Solution Objectives:

• Facilitate, acceleration of Integrated Healthcare for the entire population through application of Knowledge, Technology and Processes
• Provide equitable, cost-effective, scalable interventions
• Create a Single Window for accessing health services by all, especially the rural and vulnerable sections.
• Scalable to meet the desired and stated goals of RGoB in Healthcare by leveraging technology
• Create a collaborative platform for public and private players The public can avail the services of Health Help Centre by dialling 112. The call will land at Health Help Center, and after collecting basic details pertaining to the call like Emergency & Non emergency by the registration officer, the call is routed appropriately to the next level of service point.

Health Advice Services:

Triage services aimed at providing 24x7 medical advices and consultation giving prescriptions when required through an SMS activated system and finally a central referral system that will help guide patients to the nearest health facility they can visit based on their requirements. These services will also include counselling services, information directory services and finally a feedback complaint service where callers can report improvement areas for healthcare facilities in the country. The system is guided by a software tool called the “Symptom based Clinical Decision Support System” that will be used by the health helpline.

Emergency Services:

The nearest located ambulance from the location of incident will be identified using GPS technology and the ambulance will be dispatched immediately to the incident location. Symptom based triage system is developed to understand the requirement of the caller for different kind of ambulances to be dispatched as per the need.


One can dial 112 for the following emergencies and Health advices: • Medical Advice Services,
• Medical Counseling Services,
• Health Care Facility Information Provider Services and
• Complaint Logger Services.
• Accidents – Domestic / Traffic / Falls
• Chest pain
• Paralysis
• Neonatal emergencies
• Pregnancy – Bleeding / Impending delivery
• Epilepsy / Seizure disorder, etc.

Project Overview

Health Help Center is an Information Communication Technology (ICT) enabled health care service which will be delivering services round the clock (24/7). The Health Help Center Services will be delivered through the toll free number 112 which is accessible from Mobile phones, fixed land lines, and PCOs.
Health Help Center comprises of:
1. GPS/GPRS based Tracking Equipment
2. Mobile Device
State-of-Art Technology enabled
Integrated Solution:
i. Robust PBX with complete built
in hot standby redundancy
ii. Voice recording system
iii. Computer Telephony Interface
iv. Computer Aided Dispatch
v. Symptom based Clinical Decision Support System
vi. GIS / GPS/GPRS based Tracking System
vii. SMS gateway interface
viii. Mobile Application Solution
ix. Email Interface
x. MIS Reporting System
• Equipped Ambulance
i. Medical Equipment
ii. Technology gadgets
• Trained Competencies
i. Ambulance crew
1. Emergency Medical Technician
2. Ambulance Driver
ii. Call Center People
1. Call Operators / Dispatchers
2. Paramedics
3. Emergency Physicians
4. Medical Advisory Officers
iii. Administrative People
1. HHC Operations Manager
2. Fleet Operations Manager
iv. Technical Support People
1. Telecom Support
2. Network & System Support
3. Application Support

Project Outcome:


Prestigious Manthan Award winner of innovative projects in South Asia & Asia Pacific

Article covered by MINT Newspaper, a business news daily of Hindustan Times Newspaper on the Technology provided by ProCreate Techno Systems for Project HHC