#SootinClaimon.Com : ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation.
Government move on AIDS meds a backward step in fighting HIV, say private clinics
SATURDAY, JANUARY 21, 2023
In December, the Health Ministry issued a decree that private clinics could no longer hand out PrEP and PEP medicines, which are used as drugs to reduce the chances of contracting HIV from sex or drug use.
The move by the ministry has created an obstacle for patients, and added to the workload of many public hospitals.
The Health Ministry sent out letters to private clinics stating that PEP/PrEP drugs should be handed out only at the discretion of a doctor and pharmacist, despite these clinics having doctors overseeing the process.
The decision is seen as a cost-saving measure, cutting government expenditure on private healthcare services, resulting in commercial and non-profit clinics not being able to provide these drugs for free.
The Rainbow Sky Association is one of many private clinics providing healthcare services, such as blood tests for STDs and giving out PEP and PrEP drugs, following Thailand’s national strategy to end AIDS by 2030.
Phubet Panpet, Deputy Director for Health Service Provision, Rainbow Sky Association of Thailand told The Nation that “We’ve explained that every process is done under a doctor’s care but we’re registered as a Medical Technology clinic and aren’t registered as a place to store medicine we still haven’t received an answer as to where they want the drugs to be stored, the hospital? Or can people choose to come here and receive their medication from somewhere else?”
There’s no current timeline on how clear things will become regarding the decision, as the government has barred clinics from giving out the drugs.
Phubet also added that “We need answers on how we can help people who previously have used our services to be able to still receive PrEP / PEP. Public hospitals that they mentioned in the decree, if we work under public hospitals and have pharmacists with our clinic helping to make the process easier, how can we work together? We want guidelines, rather than saying we can’t do it”
With every minute ticking by, many lives are at risk of this drug being difficult to access.
How can Thailand achieve its national strategy of ending AIDS by 2030 if these drugs, which help prevent the spread of HIV, are not easily accessible? Are we moving backward? Will the Ministry of Health be able to give people the easy way out for their health and well-being?