Two Thai medical professionals receive prestigious awards

An advisor who helped solve a shortage of nurses and a hospital director who increased migrant workers’ access to health care have won awards from the Asia Pacific Action Alliance on Human Resources for Health (AAAH), an organization supported by the Rockefeller Foundation and the World Health Organization (WHO).

The AAAH bestowed its Nursing Award on Kritsada Sawaengdi, a senior analyst in public health policy at the Kingdom’s Ministry of Public Health and adviser to the Thailand Nursing and Midwifery Council.

Kritsada was recognized for her outstanding role and achievements in addressing the Kingdom’s shortage of healthcare workers. She has been a strong advocate within the government for better working conditions for nurses, noting that patients run the risk of receiving poor-quality care when healthcare professionals are overworked. She has laid out a three-point program to improve staffing.

The Alliance named Dr. Thawatchai Setthasupphana as the winner of its Medical Award. Dr. Thawatchai is the Director of Mae Sot Hospital in Tak province along the border with Myanmar. Workers and others often travel back and forth through the border. That presents a potential problem for Thailand because the Kingdom has done a remarkable job preventing the spread of Covid-19 within its borders.

The AAAH said that Dr. Thawatchai had done significantly to increase migrant workers’ access to health care at his hospital and has also been instrumental in preventing Covid-19 infections along the border.

The AAAH said that its award winners are often leaders with track records of efficient management and initiating reforms benefiting public health services.

The winners were announced during a virtual conference organized by the AAAH along with the WHO, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), the Prince Mahidol Award Foundation and the Asian Development Bank (ADB).

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