Cash crunch forces Korat foundation to scale down ambulance service


A CHARITY FOUNDATION in Nakhon Ratchasima province (Korat) said today (July 3) it has stopped ambulance service at four to five stations because the National Institute for Emergency Medicine has not given any compensation for eight months, Amarin TV said.

Mr. Phisit Pongsirisuphakul, vice-president of Putthamhook Foundation 31, said not only his organisation but other rescue operations nationwide have not received any compensation from this institute for eight months.

This has led to his foundation shutting four to five stations out of 50 it operates in this province.

He added that this compensation is mostly used to cover fuel expenses for running the ambulances.

Whereas the foundation previously had a fund of 500,000 baht to help volunteers in remote areas, not only has this been used up debts totalling over 2 million baht have piled up.

He urged the institute to send some compensation to both his foundation and other rescue operations nationwide to boost the morale of rescuers in carrying out their duties.

Meanwhile, rescuers at two other charity foundations, Siang Chiang Tueng and Sawang Metta Thammasathan, said while they were still able to continue their service, there would definitely be problems long term.

Mr. Santi, 30, a rescuer at Siang Chiang Tueng, said the compensation from the institute is 350 baht for green and yellow cases and 500 baht for red cases.

He mentioned that aside from Mueang district, which is his foundation’s main centre, there are also stations in three other districts. At Mueang district there are around 40 ambulances and in the other districts four to five each. Some of these ambulances belong to the foundation but others are owned by the rescuers.

Rescuers are starting to face problems and while they are currently still able to run ambulances to pick up patients should compensation be withheld for a longer period they would not be able to continue and would have to stop the service.

For this reason he urged the institute to sympathise with the rescuers and quickly approve the budget to compensate them.


Top and Front Page: Some Putthamhook Foundation 31 ambulances in Nakhon Ratchasima. Photos: Amarin TV

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