11 July 2024

Top medical professionals, representing Thailand’s main medical organizations, urged the government today (Wednesday) to develop ways to protect medical personnel involved in the care of COVID-19 patients from legal exposure in case of errors in the honest performance of their duties.

The call for government action is contained in a joint statement issued by executives of the Ministry of Public Health, the National Vaccine Institute, the National institute for Emergency Medicine Research Institute, the Government Pharmaceutical Organization, the Medical Council of Thailand, the Health Systems Research Institute, Thailand Nursing and Midwifery Council, the Thai Dental Council Thailand, the Medical Association of Thailand and the Medical Technology Council.

The statement was read this afternoon by public health permanent secretary Dr. Kiattibhoom Vongrachit, before the media and in the presence of representatives from the medical organizations.

It said that, in the past two years, all available resources, both human and material, have been mobilised to contain the virus and to procure medication and vaccines with which to treat patients.

Due to the limitations of resources and knowledge about the disease and the fact that medical personnel have been working in emergency situations, which require quick decisions, the statement said that errors may occur in the course of the honest performance of duties.

They urged the government to take action to protect the medical personnel and related experts, so that they can do their jobs without fear of legal exposure.

Last week, Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul said the government will issue a decree to limit the legal liability of medics involved in caring for COVID-19 patients and in other aspects of efforts to contain the virus.

He said the law will, however, only cover errors which occur as a result of actions taken in good faith, not gross negligence.