If Khun Anutin won’t say it, we will; Our healthcare professionals are heroes and we should celebrate them

Yesterday, the Minister of Public Health Anutin Charnvirakul came under criticism for statements he made about Thai doctors and healthcare professionals.

Anutin said that he was disappointed that medical workers were not taking the right precautions after at least 6 doctors and nurses contracted the coronavirus.

He also said that they should be spanked.

The hashtags #อนุทิน (Anutin) and #อนุทินออกไปเหอะ (Anutin just get out) trended on Twitter Thursday evening and Friday morning with the majority of comments critical of the public health minister.

Autin has since apologised for his words, saying he wasn’t listening to the reporter’s question clearly. But the public health minister has not done enough to praise the work that our doctors and nurses are doing and if he will not do it, we will.

Underpressure and undermanned

For Thailand’s healthcare sector, like much of the world, the coronavirus outbreak has become a litmus test for capacity and competence. Even though Thailand ranked in John Hopkin University’s list of countries that were prepared for an outbreak, the covid-19 crisis has pushed our medical professionals to their limits.

Many doctors and nurses we talked to for our various stories over the past few weeks tell us of long workdays (up to 16 hours) dealing with queries, patients and the paranoid.

Even though officially we just surpassed 1,000 patients as a country, there are countless thousands more being tested, screened, quarantined and monitored by doctors, government officials and nurses throughout the country.

Yet somehow, the leader of the ministry responsible for the healthcare sector found a way to criticize these professionals at a time when the world is celebrating them as heroes.

So in the spirit of things, I would like to, on behalf of everyone at Thai Enquirer, salute our heroes in the healthcare sector. Your tireless work helps keep us safe and you have our unwavering and unquestioned thanks.

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