Anutin blasts NHSO budget

Anutin blasts NHSO budget

Anutin Charnvirakul
Anutin Charnvirakul

The National Health Security Office (NHSO) should have done a better job before requesting help in approving its annual budget, Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul said on Wednesday.

In response to a complaint that he has taken too long to approve the office's proposed budget, Mr Anutin said he could not put his signature on an illegal document, meaning he needed to see more proof that the plan has been approved by all the required committees and gone through the right steps.

"If you want me to sign my name, you do need to make sure the thing is correct. Please do not try to use any group to pressure me simply by saying all of the committees have agreed on it. I have my own principles to follow, and everything must be done in accordance with the law," Mr Anutin said.

Mr Anutin is under strong pressure from civil society groups who are blaming him for the delayed approval of the NHSO budget, a proposal he has described as "illegal" in its current state.

An NHSO committee voted to expand its budget for healthcare promotional services to include other insurance schemes such as social welfare and pensions. It based this on the rationale that everyone deserves healthcare protection under the current constitution.

However, the minister's legal team said this part of the budget could only be distributed to people under the universal healthcare scheme. The budget includes free healthcare services such as free medical check-ups for certain kinds of cancer.

Meanwhile, non-governmental organisations have joined hands with the Rural Doctor Society in expressing their concern over the delay. They said many people would suffer as a result of not being able to get assessed.



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