GPO union to join new investigation

The Government Pharmaceutical Organisation (GPO) labour union will take part in a new investigation into troubles at the agency, the union's president said on Tuesday..

Earlier, the union met Public Health Minister Pradit Sinthawanarong seeking an assurance it could take part, Rawai Phupaka said.

The union was worried it would be excluded from the joint committee approved at a tripartite meeting, chaired by Prime Minister's secretary-general Suranand Vejjajiva, on June 6.

Mr Pradit said he had no problem with the union taking part.

The meeting agreed to set up the committee to reinvestigate the GPO scandal which resulted in the dismissal of the GPO's managing director Witit Artavatkun.

Between February and May, the GPO chief was accused of being involved in irregularities including the import of large amounts of paracetamol raw materials, and delays in the construction of a vaccine factory. The dismissal of Dr Witit and the allegations of irregularities upset the GPO union.

Dr Pradit said after the meeting with several key union figures that he had never tried to block the union from participating.

Mr Rawai said the union insisted on participating in the new probe to ensure its transparency.

He said the union will also discuss the matter with the the Rural Doctors Society (RDS) which is also protesting against Dr Pradit's pay-for-performance (P4P) scheme. The RDS met various agencies on the P4P issue yesterday.

After the meeting, Fiscal Policy Research Institute director Kanit Sangsubhan said the P4P policy must be implemented on Oct 1.

RDS president Kriangsak Watcharanukulkiat insisted the P4P must be implemented on voluntary basis.

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Writer: Paritta Wangkiat
Position: Reporter