When we officially opened the Helmuth-Poitner-Health-Centre in 1998, it was obvious that activity in the field of disease prevention was imperative. Awareness of preventive health care at that time was only slight – the general opinion being that treatment in the event of actual illness sufficed. However, the types of illnesses showed – and still show – that prevention of disease is essential. In the meantime, much has been accomplished in this field.
The Health Centre with its monastic façade has a modern interior and its cleanliness is praised all-round. At that time mostly the outpatient’s department was fully utilized with around 40 patients a day for Western medicine and 30 patients a day for Tibetan medicine. The number of 40 patients for Western medicine did not include those who came for wound dressings, laboratory or pharmacy or dental consultations. Various specialists (orthopaedic surgeons, dermatologists, ear, nose and throat doctors) who were present once a month, also performed minor operations.
In the Health centre there is also a branch of the Tibetan Medical and Astro Institute from Dharamsala where they treat with traditional Tibetan medicine. In October and November 2000, the youngest of His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s personal physicians practised at the Health Centre, handling alone 80 patients daily.
The Health Centre was mostly financed by Norbu Ling e.V. but the monks made great efforts to provide their own funds: a canteen, a guest house, a vegetable garden and taxi-driving. Two full time doctors (Western medicine) lived until 2010 in the nearby Doctor’s quarter, a dentist, 2 traditional Tibetan medicine doctors worked there, too.
Since December 2000 “Health Talks” were given to the monks. Monthly in the School, a team from the Health Centre instructed on ‘Measures on Preventive Health Care”. The instruction was both theoretical and practical.
In 2005 we finished the second part of the Health Centre which also includes x-ray and a room for conferences in order to get some income for the Health Centre