Senior doctor explains why calls to 1668 hotlines are often remain unanswered – Thai PBS World Tonight [23rd April 2021]

The Thai Medical Services Department has appealed for public understanding over complaints, including the one from Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha, claiming that calls to the 1668 hotlines are left unanswered on many occasions.

Medical Services Department Director-General Dr. Somsak Akkasilp explained today that the 1668 hotline service, which has 20 lines, is normally manned by the department’s doctors and nurses, all of whom are volunteers doing the extra job during their working hours.

He said the volunteer medics will normally answer questions raised by those who test positive for COVID-19 or their relatives, who are looking for hospital beds, and follow up their condition until beds can be secured for them, adding that each call can take 20-30 minutes.

Since the launch of the hotline, 1,300 patients have been admitted to hospitals for treatment, leaving 400 others waiting.

He also dismissed reports on social media that anyone who complains about waiting for a hospital bed on social media will be admitted immediately.


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