Overworked docs want fewer hours

Overworked docs want fewer hours

A group of doctors on Thursday asked a House committee on labour to help resolve excessive working hours for medical professionals, citing how many doctors work over 100 hours a week.

Dr Chutinart Chinudomporn, representative of the Thai Frontline Physician Confederation (TFPC), submitted a letter to the House committee through Move Forward Party (MFP) leader Pita Limjaroenrat highlighting their concerns.

Many doctors put in more than 100 hours of work each week which is taking its toll on their health, she said. As a result, many have resigned from hospitals which results in less patient care.

Dr Chutinart said other medical personnel including nurses and medical technicians are likewise being overworked.

The confederation called on the government to issue a regulation limiting the working hours for medical personnel to no more than 80 hours a week.

Dr Chutinart said this would allow them to recover physically and mentally from their highly stressed work routines.

This would result in fewer mistakes being made, which of course benefits patients, she added.

The Medical Council of Thailand recently released guidelines recommending that doctors work no more than 40 hours a week and no more than 16 continuous hours in the emergency room. After having worked for 24 hours, doctors must rest for at least four hours.

Dr Chutinart said such guidelines have proven to be difficult to implement in the past.

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