Thai public healthcare system reeling with large number of resignations

BANGKOK (The Nation/Asia News Network): The rising trend of newly graduated doctors quitting, particularly due to excessive workload, has become a top concern in the Thai healthcare system.

The case of Dr Puimek Naphasorn, which gained a lot of attention on social media, highlights the challenges faced by doctors in state hospitals.

According to data from the Medical Council, as of April 4 this year, Thailand had a total of 72,250 doctors, of whom 68,725 are still active. However, it is important to note that only 66,685 of these doctors can be contacted.

The distribution of doctors in the country shows that there are 32,198 doctors in Bangkok and 34,487 elsewhere in the country.

Furthermore, there are 434 Thai doctors practising overseas (359 male, 75 female), and 1,606 doctors whose contact information is not available.

Meanwhile, 22 doctors (19 male, 3 female) have had their licences revoked, and 3,503 (2,787 male, 716 female) doctors are now deceased.

In the case of Dr Puimek, her decision to resign from a state hospital was primarily influenced by the excessive workload and its detrimental impact on her physical and mental well-being.

After her posts discussing these issues went viral on social media, she decided to remove them as they had unintentionally affected some of her colleagues. She acknowledged that her colleagues were generally pleasant and that it was the working system itself that had led to the staff getting exhausted.

The issue again gained widespread attention, when a post on the popular Facebook page “Doctor Kluay” said that many newly graduated dentists had resigned. The high number of resignations was attributed to factors such as a surplus of dentists compared to available positions, mismatched job descriptions and excessive workload at state hospitals.

Comments from newly graduated dentists, who had resigned or were contemplating resignation, highlighted problems like insufficient time for patient care or teaching interns. Many also had to skip meals due to the huge number of patients.

Separately, according to the “NursesConnect” Twitter account, Thailand produces 10,000 nurses per year, of whom about 7,000 quit or do not practice. Additionally, 48% of the new graduates resign within their first year of work. This huge turnover contributes to a severe shortage of nurses in Thailand.

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Thailand , healthcare , shortage , resignations


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