The Public Health Ministry under the leadership of Minister Pradit Sintanawarong is never short of controversies. Amid a severe shortage of physicians in rural areas, Dr Pradit issued a policy to cut their hardship allowances.
Effective treatment requires physicians to spend time with patients to gather details of their symptoms and personal backgrounds so they can make an accurate diagnosis. Yet the minister imposed a pay-for-performance system that rewards physicians on the quantity of tasks performed and requires doctors to document each and every task, which turns hospitals into factory assembly lines and a hell of paperwork.
His policy has triggered fierce protests from rural doctors. They accuse him of trying to demoralise and directly force them to work for private hospitals in the city under the government's medical hub policy push.
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