Thailand agrees to operate ASEAN centre for public health emergencies hinh anh 1Deputy Government Spokeswoman Traisuree Taisaranakul (Source: nationthailand.com)

Bangkok (VNA) -
The Thai Cabinet has officially approved the proposal to operate the new ASEAN Centre for Public Health Emergencies and Emerging Diseases (APHEED).

Deputy Government Spokeswoman Traisuree Taisaranakul said the  Ministry of Public Health submitted a tentative request to the ASEAN Secretariat's Health Division to establish the centre on October 19.

Traisuree said operating APHEED would bring many benefits, including lower medical costs, support for screening and immunisation programmes, and assistance with medical checks and disease control among migrant workers.

The centre will also boost confidence among investors and tourists in Thailand's healthcare system and other ASEAN members, she said.

For the first five years, the centre will cost about 530 million baht (17 million USD) to operate annually, which will rise to 1 billion baht a year in the long run when all its functions are up and running.

The Japanese government and ASEAN Secretariat will provide a one-off initial contribution of about 620 million baht, although further contributes from both, as well as other countries, have yet to be clarified.

The Health Ministry and Ministry of Foreign Affairs, therefore, asked the Thai Government to approve a budget to operate the centre in accordance with a requirement that the host government contribute 20 percent of the annual operational costs, although that amount must not exceed 10 million USD (310 million baht)./.
VNA