Editorial: Battle Of Doctors

(3 May) A recent conflict within Ministry of Public Health has attracted attention from the public and the media.

Some citizens are left wondering whether the Rural Doctors Group, which has been protesting the controversial pay-for-performance (P4P) policy, is driven by the genuine need to engage in public debate – or certain hidden political agenda.

The question arises from the demand posted by the Group. Instead of only calling for abolition of the scheme, the Group went on to call for resignation of the Minister of Public Health himself.

One cannot help wonder why the discontent doctors didn?t stick to the ?issue? instead of ?individual?.

It should be noted that both the Ministry has previously stated its willingness to modify the compensation system – but this offer has seemingly been ignored by the dissenting doctors.

Furthermore, the protest took place just when the executive powers of the Ministry began to investigate reports of various corruptions within the Ministry, and – perhaps by some coincidence – some of those involved in these potentially damaging cases appear to have close ties with the leaders of the protesting doctors.

Not to mention the ongoing investigation into the controversial 180 billion baht health insurance program.

Recently, Dr. Pravet Wasee, the Senior Citizen respected by the opposition to the Ministry, even expressed his concern that the protesters must make sure they are campaigning for something better.

If such protest turns out to be another political ploy that does fails to improve the actual health services on nationwide level, the public will never gain any benefit.


However, at least the current protest will certainly provide a glimpse to the ?inner guts? of the circle that has been largely closed off to outside observers.