6 June 2024
Pheu Thai Party’s political stalwart Khunying Sudarat Keyuraphan today doubled down on her criticism of the government’s welfare cards scheme which provides poor people with access to free medical care, claiming it is sowing a seed of social division.

She reiterated that the scheme is dividing Thai society into two classes — the rich and the poor.

When Sudarat first aired her criticisms she faced a strong rebuttal from Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha, Deputy Prime Minister Somkid Jatusripitak and government spokesman Lt-Gen Sansern Kaewkamnerd, who accused her of attempting to discredit the government for political gains.

“Allow me to repeat the issue of ‘health security scheme’ once more despite the fact that (I) don’t want it to be seen as a tit-for-tat.  After having heard from the two big shots – General Prayut and Dr Somkid – talking about the matter without understanding and without “listening”, (I) have to make another post,” Khunying Sudarat wrote in her Facebook post on Thursday.

Sudarat, who is a potential candidate to lead the former ruling Pheu Thai Party into the next election, argued that Thai people in general are eligible to the existing universal health care but the Prayut Government requires people to register as “poor people” to qualify for welfare cards which are widely known as “poor man” card.

“Why go  back to the old days?” she questioned, adding that the health scheme should have been developed to be better.  “Or is it just something to woo popular votes?”
She urged both Gen Prayut and Somkid to be more broadminded and listen to criticisms.