The National Health Assembly has resolved to propose nine health policies ranging from banning toxic farm chemicals to preventing overuse of the internet among Thai children.
The policies were based on public input and were aimed to bring good health to Thai citizens, National Health Commission secretary-general Ampon Jindawattana said at the conclusion of the three-day annual assembly at the Bangkok International Trade & Exhibition Centre yesterday. The nine policies are:
- Arrangement of facilities to promote walking and cycling;
- Mitigation of health impacts from biomass power plants;
- Capacity-building for local communities on forest fire and haze control;
- Amendment of regulations governing the environmental and health impact assessment report to ensure public participation;
- Banning the use and import of harmful agricultural chemicals to promote food safety;
- Safeguarding public health from imported food and agricultural products following the launch of the Asean Economic Community;
- Improving the healthcare system for monks;
- Improving medical education to create quality personnel; and
- Solving the problems of internet-overuse and online game addiction among Thai youth.
Dr Ampon said the first three policies pertaining to walking and cycling facilities, mitigation of biomass power plant's impact and forest fire and haze control would be forwarded for the cabinet approval, while other policies could be implemented without a need to have cabinet resolutions.
"Civil society groups and the general public could make their own move to bring policies into practice," he said.
Democrat Party leader Abhisit Vejjajiva, who also attended the assembly yesterday, pledged to help to push forward the nine polices in order to promote a healthier society.
He said most state policies are based on political purposes instead of bringing true benefits to people.
Some of the policies had been implemented without looking into their negative impacts. For example, the rice pledging scheme had led to the overuse of agricultural chemicals to increase crop yields.
He criticised the Pheu Thai government for failing to implement policies that bring real benefit to the people.
"The government has tied themselves with policies used in the election campaign, which has limited them from focusing on real public policies," Mr Abhisit said.
The Democrat leader also criticised the government for lacking continual work in pushing forward a certain public health policy.
The board of the National Health Commission is chaired by the prime minister, he said.
But Ms Yingluck assigned her deputy to chair the commission and the chairman had been changed three times in the past year which made it difficult to succeed in pushing forward public health policies, Mr Abhisit said.
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Writer: Paritta Wangkiat