Cabinet gives nod to Health Ministry’s plan to hire nurses as government officials

The cabinet has approved Public Health Ministry to accept as permanent staff nurses working at state hospitals as permanent employees within a three-year period, Prime Minister Prayut Chan-ocha told the media after cabinet meeting on Tuesday.

The first group of 2,200 state nurses will be accepted this year, with the next two more groups of 2,900 each will be accepted within the next two years.

The prime minister said that although the government had attached importance to medical personnel, it had to look after officials in other government bodies as well.

He noted that it would not be possible for the government to keep on accepting nurses as permanent officials otherwise the state hospitals would be overloaded with nurses as hundreds of nurses are produced each year from nursing schools.

Moreover, he admitted that state hospitals could not afford to pay the same salaries paid by private hospitals to nurses.

He floated the idea of the private sector training their own nurses and hiring them after their graduation.

The cabinet’s decision for Public Health Ministry to accept as permanent officials instead of employees followed protests by hundreds of nurses last week.