“Pfizer believes it can significantly alleviate the problems facing the country’s overstretched health services,” said Luksanawan Thangpaiboolm head of its vaccine unit in Thailand and Indochina. “Ageing and obesity are placing greater stress on the health system, which suffers annual shortfalls. It will hurt the economy as productivity falls as more sick leave is taken,” she noted. Obese children face a host of ailments quite different from their parents, Luksanawan. Ageing citizens will likely not receive the care they need as the budget is not structured to meet new threats. Even the Bt129 billion set aside last year for the Public Health Ministry’s budget, failed to cover the requested Bt142 billion sought. Worse, the Thailand Development Research Institute (TDRI), a respected think tank, warned that in 15 years the ministry would need Bt1.4 trillion, which it will not be able to raise. The TDRI gave a worst-case scenario where billings top Bt1.8 trillion as the country’s elderly now live longer and require more medicines and care. At best, the ministry can only cover a third of that cost. “We recognise this problem and do not blame officials for deliberating hard before purchasing new drugs,” said Dr Nirutti Pradubyati, a medical… Read full this story
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