PHUKET TOWN: The chiefs of the five government hospitals in Ranong, Phang Nga, Krabi and Phuket yesterday singled out Burmese laborers as a burden on hospital funds in the Andaman region. The comments were made at a top-level meeting of Public Health officials, including Public Health Deputy Minister Pol Gen Pracha Promnog and Public Health Inspector Dr Narong Chayakul, at Wachira Phuket Hospital. The hospital chiefs agreed that their most common problem was treating contagious diseases such as malaria, elephantiasis, tuberculosis, cholera and HIV, mainly among Burmese laborers. The hospital chiefs of Takupa and Phang Nga Town district hospitals both said that they needed to regularly dip into contingency funds to keep the hospitals operating. The Takuapa hospital chief also pointed out that he does not have a single specialist in anesthesiology, obstetrics or radiology on staff.
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