Thailand's health workers to get upgrade

THAILAND - The Cabinet has approved the allocation of 21,641 civil-servant positions to be filled by Public Health Ministry temporary employees in 21 medical professional fields over the next three fiscal years (2013-2015).

Public Health Minister Pradit Sinthawanarong said yesterday the status upgrade - which covers medical, dentistry and pharmacy scholarship recipients - would apply to 7,547 positions in the first year and require Bt1.1 billion a year from the ministry's coffers.

The implementation would start in one or two months, he added.

Upgrades to civil-servant status will be awarded based on employees' length of service, while newer temporary employees would immediately be upgraded to be permanent employees of the ministry so they can enjoy welfare and benefits like civil servants, he explained.

As a condition for the upgrades, the ministry was required to improve its human-resources management structure to make it more effective, Pradit said.

Once the ministry shows progress in improving its structure and planning, the Cabinet and the Civil Service Commission will consider positions to be filled in fiscal year 2013-2014.

He said the selection of employees to be upgraded would be done with transparency and participation from representatives of temporary medical employees.

The minister said consideration of upgrades would also be based on workload and adequacy of staffing levels at health facilities, especially at community/tambon-level health-promotion hospitals, general hospitals in rural areas, newly opened community hospitals, general hospitals with overwhelming workloads and facilities with special missions, such as child development.

Source: Asia One

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