October 31, 2012 00:00 By POUNGCHOMPOO PRASERT
After state-hospital nurses rallied for permanent employment contracts, the Public Health Ministry has drafted a regulation to make some nurses its own employees because of a limited quota for civil servants set by the Office of the Civil Service Commissi
This regulation should go into effect by December, deputy permanent secretary Dr Supan Srithamma told a public forum yesterday.
However, the Nurses’ Association of Thailand as well as many nursing temps said they were not very happy about this solution.
Supan said the ministry was working with the OCSC to figure out how many nurses on temporary contracts can become civil servants on a yearly basis for the next three years.
The ministry has asked for the first annual batch of 5,800 civil-servant positions to be filled by nurses from January 1, 2013. This would require a budget of Bt4.2 billion.
Meanwhile, nurses on temporary contracts who cannot become civil servants or are in the pending status will be made ministry employees. As employees of the ministry, they will earn 1.2 times more than civil servants but will get the same annual leave as civil servants as well as health coverage under the Social Security Office scheme.
This batch of nurses will be employed by the ministry from next June and the cost for this would be Bt1.7 billion a year, he said.
Supan stressed that though the nurses would not get a state pension, they would be granted a provident fund, which requires contributions of 3-5 per cent of the salary and is met in equal amounts by the government.
Jintana Yunibhand, president of the Nurses’ Association of Thailand, said that though she had initially agreed to this solution, she wanted more incentives to be provided.
Also, she said, a longer-term solution should be provided for nurses who have served for more than seven years.
Jongkol Inthasan, chief nurse at Ayutthaya’s Bang Pahan Hospital, said all nurses on temporary contracts wanted to be employed as civil servants so they could all get the same benefits.
She also said nurses did not just want to become civil servants for the extra money, but also for the recognition in the community.
Currently, there are some 26,790 temporary personnel under the Public Health Ministry, of whom 12,088 are temp nurses and 656 pharmacists.