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50 million baht for “health hub’ Phuket

Legacy Phuket Gazette

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50 million baht for “health hub’ Phuket | Thaiger

PHUKET CITY: The Health Ministry is to spend 50 million baht promoting Phuket as a health hub of Asia, Health Minister Sudarat Keyuraphan announced today.

In Phuket for a health conference organized by her ministry, K. Sudarat said the money had already been allocated and would be spent before the end of the year on developing health tourism schemes for the province.

The government is trying to develop Thailand as the “health hub of Asia”. Phuket will be the first destination to be promoted, followed by Surat Thani and Chiang Mai. A total of 500 million baht will be spent over five years on promoting these three pilot projects.

She said Phuket was first in line because of its beautiful natural attractions, its nice people, its modern medical technology and its massage and spa industry.

She said, “The 50-million-baht budget will be used to promote the Phuket Health Hub’s medical services, technologies and specialists.”

K. Sudarat was speaking at the three-day annual meeting of the Health Ministry, which started at the Royal Phuket City Hotel today. Around 2,500 employees of government hospitals and health offices from around the country are taking part.

The Minister also revealed plans to increase funding for the 30-baht healthcare scheme, and to give pay rises to employees of state hospitals.

She said that, with effect from October 1 next year, the government will raise the amount it pays to hospitals for each person registered for 30-baht healthcare from 1,205 baht to 1,510 baht.

Between the launch of the scheme in 2001 and last year, K. Sudarat said, 47.7 million people, or 75% of the Thai population, had registered.

K. Sudarat also pledged that government health staff will be paid more, saying that an extra 2.8 billion baht will be spent in the coming fiscal year, which starts on October 1, to increase wages.

“This will decrease the gap in wage rates between government hospitals and private hospitals to 20%,” said K. Sudarat.

Within three years, she added, she hopes to bring wages in government health services into line with those paid to staff of private hospitals.

 

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