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Bangkok tackles complaints on Covid-19 hotline as thousands call every day


The Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA) is planning to overhaul its 1669 Covid-19 hotline following complaints from people unable to reach the staff.

The hotline aims to provide information relating to Covid-19 as well as serves as an emergency call centre for those in need of medical attention or ambulance.

“Currently the 1669 hotline has staff working three shifts to answer inquiries around the clock,” Bangkok Governor Pol General Aswin Kwanmuang said on Thursday. “However, since the new wave in March, up to 3,500 people have been calling daily. Callers who exceed our capacity will have to wait for their turn, and if they hang up and dial in again, they will be put at the end of the queue. This has resulted in many people complaining that the line was never available.”

The governor added that the BMA was planning to make some changes to the calling system by letting people leave their names and numbers, so that the staff could call back when they are available. This would eliminate the need for people to wait for their turn.

“We will also add more staff and lines, as well as an automatic voice system to let people know of their queue status,” he added.

Aswin added that the BMA would increase medical staff responsible for transporting patients from their residences to available hospitals to reduce the number of patients left at home.

“In the early phase, we will move some of the staff on night shift to work on day shift from 8am to 4pm, which is the period when more people require medical services,” he said. “Then, we will increase the ambulances as well as their trips per day to make sure that no patients are left at home.

“The Erawan 2 field hospital at Bangkok Arena Sports Centre in Nong Chok district will open on April 23, which should accommodate more patients who have non-severe symptoms,” added Aswin.

Published : April 23, 2021

By : THE NATION