MD critical of ministry policies replaced
Specialist chosen to head Chana Hospital in Songkhla after transfer of Dr Supat Hasuwannakit
published : 1 Feb 2023 at 18:46
writer: Post Reporters
A new director has been selected to succeed outspoken government critic Dr Supat Hasuwannakit at Chana Hospital in Songkhla, a senior public health official said on Wednesday.
The new director has been a specialist at Chana Hospital for over 23 years, said Dr Sawat Apiwachaneewong, inspector-general at the the Ministry of Public Health.
A screening committee “has examined his qualifications and agreed the candidate is qualified to assume the post”, said Dr Sawat, who had signed the order transferring Dr Supat to Saba Yoi Hospital in the same province.
Dr Supat, who is president of the Rural Doctor Society (RDS), is crying foul over the transfer. He believes it had something to do with his role at the RDS, which has been highly critical of the ministry’s policies on cannabis use, Covid-19 and vaccine management.
Dr Sawat insisted the transfer was in line with regulations, and he was not concerned about Dr Supat’s threat to file a lawsuit with the Administrative Court for unfair treatment.
According to the inspector-general, Dr Supat is required to leave Chana Hospital by Feb 3 and start working at Saba Yoi Hospital on Feb 6.
In a related development, Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul, has shrugged off calls for the Election Commission to investigate whether has violated regulations on election canvassing.
The leader of the Bhumjaithai Party has come under fire from political opponents and critics, including the RDS, after posters prominently featuring him were erected at many state-run hospitals across the country.
The posters contain text informing the public about the ministry’s intention to make 2023 a year of good health for all senior citizens, but they give the impression that Mr Anutin is the benefactor, critics say.
“There is no political implication or political advantage in this,” Mr Anutin said on Wednesday.
He has also distanced himself from the case of Dr Supat, saying that transfers of state officials below the C-10 level are not within his authority.
He said the minister discusses transfers of officials at the C-10 level and higher with the permanent secretary because he must sign the orders before submitting them for cabinet consideration.