Private hospitals grow increasingly frustrated with government

Private hospital administrators and doctors are growing increasingly frustrated with the government’s vaccine rollout and lack of transparency, sources told Thai Enquirer on Monday.

Following delays to the government’s vaccine program this weekend, private hospitals have had to call patients to postpone vaccination dates due to shortages.

Many have been blamed by patients for the delay adding to the frustration over a government that has failed to help private hospitals at seemingly every turn.

According to a source at the Bangkok Dusit Medical Group, the government has not been transparent with the number of vaccines it is producing and the number of vaccines that will be made available to the public.

“If they would just tell the truth, the public might be more understanding but instead they fight with each other and we are the ones that are shouldering the blame,” he told Thai Enquirer by phone. “Why can’t they just tell the truth?”

Another doctor working with the Bumrungrad Hospital told Thai Enquirer that the frustration also stemmed from the government’s lack of cooperation in helping private hospitals secure alternative vaccines.

“If they had approved our request to bring in Pfizer and Johnson & Johnson in November, then we would have the vaccines ready by THIS month,” he said.

“Instead they blocked our every move to acquire our own vaccine and now we have to rely on them and they’ve proven to be incompetent. It is pathetic.”

The government has only begun to approve private hospital requests to source their own vaccines since April with supplies of Moderna not expected to arrive until October this year.

According to medical representatives from Pfizer, there has been a question to the Thai Food and Drug Administration and the government for approval and importation of the Pfizer vaccines since November of last year. For some reason, which has not been explained by the government, this request was rejected.

Nualphan Lamsam, a spokeswoman for SiamBioscience, said in a media interview this weekend that the decision to solely rely on SBS vaccines was not a decision made by the company.

Nualphan said she agreed with criticism that the government shouldn’t rely on one manufacturer but as part of a private company, it wasn’t her decision.

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