Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul has won high approval from public health officials and the public, both in his handling of the Covid-19 pandemic and his roll-out of public healthcare programmes, according to the Public Health Ministry.
Dr Rungruang Kitpati, the ministry’s spokesman, said Mr Anutin has more support from officials than his predecessors did, according to an assessment by the ministry’s technical committee between Feb 15 and March 7.
It is the ministry’s tradition to assess the performances of its top-level executives as they approach the completion of their term, he said.
Based on the findings, people are satisfied with Mr Anutin’s performance, especially his handling of the pandemic and his building of support and cooperation from all stakeholders.
Mr Anutin’s role in the development of the public health system and its programmes has also won praise from both sides, according to Dr Rungruang.
The upgrade in primary healthcare, free kidney dialysis services and the cancer coverage he engineered have been found to reduce serious illness and deaths, patients’ expenses and economic losses.
The country’s Covid-19 response was a success story in terms of pandemic recovery, with Thailand becoming one of the first Asian countries to reopen to tourism, which stimulated economic recovery.
The spokesman said the minister raised public health officials’ morale when he agreed to recruit more than 45,000 workers and increase risk allowances for medical workers and welfare benefits for public health volunteers.
Dr Rungruang said public health officials were hugely impressed by Mr Anutin’s leadership and his building of international cooperation in public health. As a result, Thailand has been chosen as the new site for the Asean Centre for Public Health Emergencies and Emerging Diseases (ACPHEED).