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Health workers petition Senate

A PETITION signed by more than 100,000 medical workers has been handed to the Senate in the hope it will spur senators to resolve the political crisis.

A group of about 150 people from a medical workers' network, representing the 121,260 state and private hospitals employees who signed the petition, yesterday submitted the petition condemning the perpetrators of political violence and corruption in government.

The group was led by Public Health Ministry permanent secretary Dr Narong Sahametapat and Medical Council president Dr Somsak Lohlekha.

The move came after the death toll from the violence reached 22 while more than 700 people have been injured since November.

In a related development, a large number of medical workers yesterday gathered in front of state hospitals in protest over the violence and corruption in government.

Some hospitals, including Ramathibodi, erected a sign that read: "Say No To Corrupt Government" and "Stop Corruption".

Dr Peesadej Sammanant, head of the Friends of Democracy group, said he disagreed with the network's approach as many hospitals and healthcare units had collected names without the permission of their employer.

"Some of them [workers] were told to delete their names if they do not agree with the |network fighting against the government," he said.

Peesadej said it was not appropriate to use staff at hospitals and healthcare units to express a personal political stance as the facilities were public property.

He said staff should be neutral regarding the political turmoil as it was their job to save lives without discrimination.

Senate first vice president Surachai Liengboonlertchai, who received the open letter, also said the Upper House should be neutral.

Surachai said it was the job of the Senate to pass laws but he would send the letter to caretaker Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra.


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