PHUKET: Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Health Anutin Charnvirakul was in Phuket on Friday (Aug 5) to drive a seminar focused on outlining the nation’s medical policies, including the increased use of medicinal marijuana.
The academic seminar “Advancement of Medical Policy Driving, Department of Medical Services, fiscal year 2022” was held at the Pramukko Resort Phuket Hotel in Karon and drew about 400 delegates.
Joining Anutin were Dr Kiattipoom Wongrachit, Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Public Health, executives from the Ministry of Public Health, Director-Generals from various government departments, the Inspector General of the Ministry of Public Health Health Areas 1-13, and 76 provincial public health doctors who are responsible for the elderly or patients prescribed narcotic medicines.
Anutin started by thanking all workers from all departments at the Ministry of Public Health for the tireless work they have undertaken during the COVID-19 pandemic and for all their efforts in helping the country revert to normality.
He added that the COVID crisis afforded the Ministry of Public Health opportunity to develop and improve medical services by creating a new experience of home service with patients place firmly at the centre. He explained that improvements in gathering and recording patient’s information has been possible due to technology and medical personnel being able to connect with people while they were restricted to their homes during periods of lockdown which has created a DMS smart hospital dynamic.
Care of the elderly came firmly into focus during the pandemic, said Anutin, adding that the Department of Medicine has collaborated with the Department of Health to develop holistic care solutions for the elderly, particularly in regards to cancer treatments with the National Cancer Institute and specialist cancer hospitals across the country.
Anutin also thanked attendees for raising awareness of the government’s medical marijuana policy. He explained the policy is focused on helping epilepsy patients and terminally ill cancer patients who are unable to sleep or eat. Marijuana can help with their conditions, he said, and they can now do so openly without having to hide anything.
Academics of the Department of Medicine have provided clear information on treatment guidelines to support the use of marijuana for medicinal purposes, Anutin explained. The Food and Drug Administration, the Department of Thai Traditional and Alternative Medicine, the Department of Health and other departments have done similarly in pushing for the medical marijuana policy while waiting for the cannabis law to be clarified and completely ratified.
Dr Kiattipoom said that the slogan attached to the policy of the Ministry of Public Health for 2022 is “Strong people, strong economy”.
He explained that great importance is being placed on the development of public health under the Royal initiative that will focus on maximising benefits for the people.
Herbal development would be a key component of establishing a strong, transparent, well governed, holistic primary health system where everyone can be treated everywhere, Dr Kiattipoom added.
Furthermore the Department of Medical Services has pledged to develop quality medical services and medical personnel, he said.
The seminar was the perfect platform to communicate the 2022 policy to all attendees from all provincial regions across the country, said Dr Kiattipoom. It allowed the opportunity to build the understanding and confidence that the policy can be put into practice and yield positive results for the people of the nation inline with the Medical Department’s mantra of “Do the best for every life”.