The National Health Workforce Commission predicts that in the next 20 years Thailand will face a dire shortage of specialized doctors. It urges concerned organizations to increase the production of the personnel. Meanwhile, it views that the 7-billion-baht plan to produce 27,960 new nurses is not based on the national capacity of nurse production.
Dr Mongkol na Songkhla, chairman of the National Health Workforce Commission formed by the National Health Commission, said after the 3/2556 meeting of his commission that the meeting approved a proposed policy to solve the shortage of specialized doctors and called for mechanisms to monitor the matter closely because academics at Naresuan University found in their research that in the next 20 years Thailand was likely to suffer form a shortage of specialized doctors including surgeons, neurologists, anesthetists, physicians and family physicians. Unless the Ministry of Public Health and relevant organizations increase the production of specialized doctors, there may not be enough specialized doctors to provide Thai people with health services with regard to the medical hub policy of the government.
The meeting also acknowledged the plan to increase the production of nurses that the Office of the Higher Education Commission successfully proposed to the cabinet for approval on May 12. According to the plan, from 2014 to 2017 there will be 27,960 new nurses including 5,728 nurses produced by organizations under the Office of the Higher Education Commission and 4,400 nurses by the Praboromarajchanok Institute for Health Workforce Development under the Ministry of Public Health. A 7-billion-baht budget is allocated for the nurse production. However, the commission views that the plan is not based on the national capacity of nurse production as many other nurse-producing organizations have not been considered such as the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration, the armed forces and private-owned educational institutions. Thus the plan does not come up with a proper number of nurses to be produced.
“Solutions to the shortage of specialized doctors require cooperation from all parties. They should also consider how far private hospitals should take part in producing specialized doctors so that there will be enough specialized doctors to treat people in the future,” Dr Mongkol said.
Source: Manager’s August 15, 2013 edition
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