Thursday, July 09, 2020

Hospital director criticises govt for Bt3.6bn ‘cut’ to health budget

Apr 23. 2020
Supat Hasuwannakit
Supat Hasuwannakit
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By The Nation

The director of a local hospital in Songkhla province has criticised the government's decision to redirect billions of baht from the health budget to fund Covid-19 preventive measures.

Supat Hasuwannakit, director of Chana Hospital, said on Facebook (April 23) that local hospitals had several expenses and all should be subsidised by the government.

On April 21, the Cabinet discussed cutting the budget for the Gold Card universal health programme by Bt2.4 billion and requested Bt1.2 billion from the Health Ministry to use for Covid-19 preventive measures, he said.

In the last three months, many state hospitals had received no money from the government, only face masks, alcohol gel and personal protective equipment, Supat said.

These hospitals were having to fund their operations with their savings and donated money, he added. Moreover, the hospitals had to find money to upgrade their facilities to cope with Covid-19.

It was understandable that the government was not able to subsidise local hospitals, Supat said, but cutting Bt3.6 billion off the budget for public health was not acceptable.

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