In an effort to meet the increasing demand for medical services and improve the capabilities of health personnel, the Ministry of Public Health recently conducted an academic conference. The conference served as a platform for healthcare professionals to share their experiences and enhance their skills in serving specialty clinics that operate outside regular office hours. The primary objective of this initiative is to ensure an adequate supply of specialty clinics to cater to public demand.
Narong Aphikunwanit, the Deputy Permanent Secretary for Public Health, shed light on the ministry’s ongoing efforts. He explained that since 2018, the ministry has implemented a policy aimed at equipping subordinate agencies with the necessary resources and preparedness to provide specialized medical services beyond the typical working hours.
This policy is particularly relevant to specialties that experience significant public demand, such as dentistry. By establishing these specialty clinics, the ministry aims to alleviate overcrowding and reduce waiting times in hospitals during regular hours. Additionally, it provides the public with alternative options for receiving medical care.
Dr. Narong emphasized that the service units operating outside regular hours have undergone significant upgrades in their work systems to adapt to changes and meet public demand. Currently, there are 133 such service units in operation. Out of these, 114 operate under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Public Health’s Office of the Permanent Secretary, while 13 are under the Department of Medical Services (DMS), five under the Department of Mental Health, and one under the Department of Disease Control (DDC).
In line with the Medical Council of Thailand’s guidelines on physician compensation and prevailing circumstances, Dr. Narong stated that the Ministry of Public Health has revised two announcements concerning the fees charged by specialty clinics and the compensation provided to their employees for the fiscal year 2023. These adjustments aim to ensure fair compensation for healthcare professionals while considering the economic realities and medical landscape of the country.
The Ministry of Public Health’s efforts to enhance specialty clinic services outside regular hours through this academic conference and policy revisions demonstrate its commitment to addressing the evolving needs of the public healthcare system. By empowering healthcare professionals and expanding the availability of medical services, the ministry aims to improve the overall accessibility and quality of healthcare in Thailand.