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Thai government could learn a thing or two from other countries, say Thais abroad



PHOTO: Flickr/Tim Dennell

Thai nationals living abroad say their government should learn from how the pandemic is being managed in other countries. The Bangkok Post has spoken to a number of Thai citizens living overseas, who say they’re impressed with the financial compensation offered and the efficacy of vaccine rollouts in their host countries.

A 31 year old Thai student at the University of Manchester says everyone, regardless of where they’re from, gets a free Covid-19 vaccine. Thammarit Khamplod has already had 2 doses of Pfizer.

“As everyone is registered with the National Health Service, or NHS, everyone will have an NHS number, including migrants who entered the UK legally. So, there is no need to register for a vaccination. You will get a notification via SMS from your general practitioner and there will be a link to book a time and date.”

Thammarit says Thailand could have avoided the current situation if the government had made better decisions on vaccine procurement and rollout, pointing to the UK as an example.

“They began their vaccination scheme really well. The government says 87.9% of residents inside the UK have now received their first dose and 69.5% their second dose. If the Thai government has taken the vaccine rollout and welfare management more seriously, Thailand would have avoided its present crisis.”

According to the Bangkok Post report, another Thai national abroad has had a similar experience. 30 year old Pongpon Chuencharoen lives in Russia and has received his first dose of the Sputnik vaccine free of charge.

“All I needed to pay was a metro fare as I had to get vaccinated in a department store. Vaccine booths are open there. Everyone in Russia, regardless of nationality, can get a vaccine for free.”

Meanwhile, a 27 year old Thai national living in Sydney, Australia, has just received his second dose of the Pfizer vaccine. Phanu Laosamran says the country is vaccinating everyone free of charge, regardless of what visa they hold.

“In Australia, the government provides the vaccines to everyone, no matter what visa type. People are, however, complaining that vaccines distribution is slow.”

SOURCE: Bangkok Post


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