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50 retired military doctors recruited to combat Covid-19 outbreak

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50 retired military doctors recruited to combat Covid-19 outbreak | Samui Times
50 former military doctors reenlist in the Royal Thai Air Force to help fight the Covid-19 outbreak (photo: Bangkok Post)
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50 retired military doctors were called in to the Royal Thai Air Force (RTAF) Under an urgent campaign, to combat the Covid 19 outbreak.

While the government has managed to slow down daily infection risk spikes, the authorities are still operating under massive workloads, taking care of patients and screening new arrivals at state quarantine facilities.

The Air Force has joined the war, “and we need to train our medical staff for the crisis,” Air Force Chief ACM Maanat Wongwat said as he thanked the doctors at a welcome ceremony on Wednesday at Navaminda Kasatriyadhiraj Royal Air Force Academy in northern Bangkok.

This is the first time that the air force has called on retired officers to improve its military forces.

“Everyone has both air force blood and spirit as a doctor,” said ACM Maanat. “Together, we will wage the battle against this epidemic.” All the doctors had previously worked in air force-run hospitals before resigning to work in private hospitals or starting their own clinics. Many physicians, under the age of 50, will represent the air force from 15 to 30 April.

Many will be assigned to the care of patients at Bhumibol Adulyadej Hospital and Royal Thai Air Force Hospital (Sikan), while others will support officers at Flying Training School in Nakhon Pathom’s Kamphaeng Saen district, where 75 Thais returning from Indonesia are held in quarantine.

A per diem payment of 240 baht is issued to each doctor, equivalent to the amount for officers under the Air Force Reserve Order. We work in waves, each lasting 15 days.

“I didn’t raise any concerns when the air force called me,” said Nathi Diphorm, who works at Bamrungrad Hospital. “As a soldier, I’m ready to support the war.” Other fellow doctors expressed similar feelings, while expressing appreciation to their counterparts in private hospitals who are taking up their workloads.

The party includes a 53-year-old psychiatrist who volunteers to support the air force, but he has not been recalled. Plt Off Worawit Phunsuwan, an otorhinolaryngologist operating his own practice, has also agreed to take part in the effort of patriotic service.

“The effect on my personality,” he said. “I absolutely dismiss it.” The air force is now implementing an aggressive strategy of making state departments slash their budgets so that the government can support steps against the Covid-19 pandemic and deal with its effects on the economy.

“We’re going to slash 23 percent of our annual spending,” said ACM Maanat.

The decline would not have a significant effect on construction plans, but certain programs and budgets do need to be modified by the air force, he added.

The air force is reported to postpone a 2,4-billion-baht T-50 trainer-jet order from South Korea, as well as an expansion of C-130 aircraft and other development projects worth more than 3 billion baht.

 

SOURCE:Bangkok Post

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