Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra has instructed the Public Health Ministry to inform all hospitals in the country to admit accident victims at any time during the Songkran period, whether or not they are entitled to health care benefits with the hospitals.
Deputy Public Health Minister, Dr. Chonlanan Srikaew (ชลน่าน ศรีแก้ว) on Saturday indicated the Premier’s concerns are due to the fact that the number of accidents usually doubles at this time of the year.
He explained that the most common causes of accidents are drunk driving, and riding motorcycles without helmet. He added that the ministry has done all it can to prevent road accidents including pre-Songkran campaign to promote safety on the road, and random inspection of entertainment venues and roadside stalls to ensure strict enforcement of liquor ban during the festival.
The Deputy Public Health Minister also urged all motorists to remain vigilant on the road, especially during the 7 dangerous days of Songkran. He said an emergency medical hotline 1669 has been made ready to accept complaints around the clock.
Dr. Chonlanan also affirmed hospitals are ready for an inevitable influx of accident victims during the period despite a lower number of medical personnel due to holiday leaves.