Opinion: Government’s inability to get across a straight message is eroding public trust

Scores of hospitals this week have come out to confirm what we all expected: this government has failed to live up to its promises, again.

This latest round of vaccine shortage came after a major show of face last week when the government launched the locally made vaccine.

Now that things have gone wrong, these faces are now pushing people they were standing next to under the bus.  

On Sunday, the Ministry of Public Health said in a social media post that they have already allocated Covid-vaccines to every province, including Bangkok, as instructed by the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration (CCSA).

But the allocation from the Provincial Administrative Organizations (PAOs) to hospitals and the vaccination centres is up to the local authorities not the ministry, they added.

If you read between the lines, the MOPH was basically trying to avoid being blame for the shortage by throwing the hot potato to the PAOs and local health authorities.   

On Monday, all of them gathered in the same press conference to save face – insisting that there was never any shortages to begin with at all.

Will this government ever show accountability or blame anything on themselves?

If you look deeper, you can clearly see that the ministry has specifically highlighted Bangkok when they do not have to. If they want to make the distinction of a special administrative zone, they could have mentioned Pattaya as well but they did not.

With the light shining directly at its face, the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA) has retaliated.

They said that according to plan, the ministry was supposed to send 2.5 million AstraZeneca doses to Bangkok within June.

So far, the BMA had received 350,000 doses of AstraZeneca and 150,000 doses of Sinovac, they said in another social media post of their own which came out on the same day as the ministry’s post.

Of those 500,000 doses, more than 181,000 doses were given to people who registered with Mor Phrom application which is being mange by the ministry, not the BMA.

Therefore, “the BMA is not in control and it is not a distributor of vaccines,” they added.

Following that post, the BMA also released another depressing message on Sunday night which stated that everyone who registered to be vaccinated after June 15 with their platform, Thai Ruam Jai, will have their appointment postponed until further notice.

Now they are going back on that again and saying that some hospitals will not experience shortages at all.

Bangkok is the hardest-hit province in the third wave which began since April 1 and has led to more than 170,000 and 1,300 deaths so far.

This is not the time for these people to be fighting each other as lives are on the line.

Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul said on Monday morning that another 500,000 doses will be send to BMA this week.

We will see if they will break another promise but right now, things are not looking as good as it was last week.

If the government and the BMA cannot even coordinate to open the public parks on the same day, things are looking bleak indeed.  

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