Health workers’ salaries unpaid for more than eight months

national January 27, 2017 01:00

By PUANGCHOMPOO PRASERT
THE NATION

THOUSANDS of doctors, dentists and pharmacists who started working for state hospitals last May have not received their salaries.



“Never before have doctors had to wait this long for their salary,” said Dr Pradit Chaiyabud, who heads a confederation of medical centres and general hospitals.

He urged relevant authorities, such as the Public Health Ministry, the Office of Civil Service Commission (OCSC) and the Finance Ministry, to solve the problem quickly.

More than 2,000 new graduates started working as government doctors more than eight months ago. With their salaries long overdue, there is a risk that they may give up on state hospitals and head for better pay at private medical facilities instead. 

Public Health Ministry permanent secretary Dr Sopon Mekthon said the ministry had asked the OCSC to approve new positions for doctors, dentists and pharmacists last May. “But the OCSC confirmed the positions only in November,” he said.

He said the OCSC had argued that some positions should not be with the Public Health Ministry while claiming that the ministry had provided incomplete information.

Sopon pleaded for co-operation from all relevant agencies to find solutions to the problem. 

He said new medical staff who had not received their salaries for several months could get interest-free loans to cover their personal expenses. 

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