The Ministry of Public Health sought approval from the Cabinet today (Tuesday), to double the allowance for about one million public health volunteers to 2,000 per month.

Deputy Public Health Minister Sathit Pitutecha explained that the increase is not a populist policy to curry favour, but is long overdue.

During the past three years of the COVID-19 pandemic, public health volunteers were frontline non-professional medical personnel distributing food and medicines to COVID patients in home quarantine and screening people in villages.

Under normal circumstances, they prepare health records, including records of height and weight for every child up to five-years-old in their villages. They take care of psychiatric patients and measure blood-sugar in diabetics at home and report to doctors. They are also required to attend periodic training courses, to improve their medical knowledge.

It is a full-time job, but with dismal financial rewards.

A group of health volunteers in Jarim sub-district of Tha Phla district in Uttaradit are asking for a free medical check-up once a year, claiming that they are frontline medical personnel and are exposed to many diseases.

The privileges for the volunteers include free medical treatment under the universal health care system and the right to stay in a special room in case of hospital admission, but the room rate must not exceed 1,000 baht a day. They do not receive travelling expenses while performing their numerous duties.

Sathit said that the ministry will also seek cabinet approval for allowances for an additional 35,000 public health volunteers, who have not been paid because they are beyond the quota of 1,050,000 paid volunteers.

To help the volunteers, the ministry has set up a funeral welfare fund, by deducting 300 baht from their 1,000 baht monthly allowance, but Sathit says that the ministry realises that deducing 300 baht a month from the volunteers’ already meagre allowance will leave them with almost nothing.

The post Thai Cabinet asked to increase monthly allowance for health volunteers first appeared on Thai PBS World : The latest Thai news in English, News Headlines, World News and News Broadcasts in both Thai and English. We bring Thailand to the world.



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