Thailand nurse resignations up to 7,000 yearly due to low pay, heavy workload

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A concerning trend has emerged in Thailand‘s state-run hospitals, with up to 7,000 nurses resigning each year due to heavy workloads and insufficient overtime pay. This is despite an annual influx of 10,000 new nursing graduates, according to the nurses’ union and Nurses Connect. The alarming rate of Thailand’s nurse resignations has prompted calls for the government to implement more effective strategies to retain nurses within the country’s public healthcare system.

A representative of the nurses’ union and Nurses Connect, Suwimol Namkanisorn, revealed that the resignation rate for new nurses within their first year of employment has now reached a staggering 48.9%. “There is no need to increase the number of newly trained nurses, but having effective new measures to retain nurses in the state-run healthcare system is crucial,” she emphasised.

Namkanisorn also highlighted that nurses in Thailand are working an average of 80 hours per week, significantly more than the maximum of 60 hours a week stipulated by the Thailand Nursing and Midwifery Council. As Thailand nurse resignations increase, the workload for those remaining has become increasingly excessive, she said.

“It would help if the new public health minister can gradually lower the average number of working hours of nurses at hospitals under the Ministry of Public Health’s jurisdiction from 80 to around 60 per week,” she suggested.

Namkanisorn also addressed the issue of overtime pay disparities. Nurses working at hospitals under the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA) currently receive 1,200 baht for an eight-hour shift, while those employed by hospitals under the Ministry of Public Health are paid between 650 and 800 baht per shift. She argued that overtime pay should be at the same higher rate across the board, Bangkok Post reported.

In related news, the demanding workload faced by medical professionals has led to a staggering 900 new doctors resigning from their positions annually. The heightened levels of stress and exhaustion experienced by these physicians, coupled with insufficient rest hours to balance the intensity of their work, have left them with little choice but to leave their careers in the medical fraternity. Read more HERE.

Thailand News

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Mitch Connor

Mitch is a Bangkok resident, having relocated from Southern California, via Florida in 2022. He studied journalism before dropping out of college to teach English in South America. After returning to the US, he spent 4 years working for various online publishers before moving to Thailand.