42 mini drug-rehab centres open nationwide

42 mini drug-rehab centres open nationwide

The Public Health Ministry has opened 42 "Mini Thanyarak", or drug rehabilitation centres in 27 provinces.

It's part of an effort in which the ministry expects to have opened centres nationwide by the end of this year, said the minister Dr Cholnan Srikaew on Saturday.

They are being opened under the campaign "One Province, One Mini Thanyarak", part of the Ministry of Public Health's Quick Win campaign, or policies which the ministry aims to make happen in 100 days or by December.

He said the Princess Mother National Institute on Drug Abuse Treatment (PMNIDAT) and six regional Thanyarak Hospitals are behind the Mini Thanyarak network push.

"We hope rehabilitation services in every province will help reduce the number of narcotic drug users," he said.

PMNIDAT and Thanyarak hospitals are opening the Mini Thanyarak centres. They also offer advice and standards for treating drug users.

In case the centres need to transfer their patients, the PMNIDAT and the six Thanyarak hospitals will also accept them, he said.

Opas Karnkawinpong, permanent secretary of the ministry, said hospitals will turn separate buildings into rehab centres.

The ministry will also provide staff training and those hospitals must also have dedicated doctors and nurses to treat drug patients.

"When each province has its Mini Thanyarak centre, travel costs for patients will fall, providing easier access to those who want to stop using drugs," he said.

Sarawut Boonchaipanishwattana, director of PMNIDAT, said the Public Health Ministry provides a budget to cure drug addicts.

They can use their membership of government medical schemes including the gold card scheme to gain access to the service.

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