Good VS Bad Doctors: every profession is noble, but not every professional act nobly

Doctoring is a noble profession, as is soldiering. In fact, street sweeping, garbage collecting, advertising, engineering, teaching, and yes, even politicking are all noble professions. Of course, every profession is noble, but only if one performs one’s duty with integrity.

It’s not what you do, but how you do it.

Thailand’s disgust at the COVID-19 situation management has spread from hammering inept politicians to slamming doctors who seem to care more for serving the political agenda than combatting the disease and saving lives.

Doctor Yong Poovorawan is a top government advisor, an eminent medical professional, widely respected, and has a long list of accolades.

Outside of General Prayut Chan-o-cha and Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul, Doctor Yong is taking the brunt of public anger for his defense of the Sinovac vaccine and the government’s inept management. Here are two examples:

Three doses of Sinovac are a good as one Pfizer: Not only is there no scientific evidence to back this up, but the obvious question is also, why not just get Pfizer then?

The second shot of AstraZeneca could be 16 weeks after the first: An excuse for AstraZeneca shortage.

Meanwhile, both the Department of Disease Control and the Infectious Disease Association of Thailand want mRNA vaccines to combat old and new variants, saying that Sinovac is not effective enough.

In Chiang Rai, more than 40 doctors and nurses who received two doses of Sinovac are infected with COVID-19.

The Rural Doctor Society stated that the government promised 10 million doses of AstraZeneca per month starting in July, with three to six million doses of Sinovac as an emergency backup. But Siam Bioscience’s July plan is to deliver one million doses per week, for a total of four million doses for the month. At this rate, the Rural Doctor Society said Sinovac is the main vaccine, while AstraZeneca is the backup.

Worse still, there is no scientific study to support Sinovac’s effectiveness against Covid-19’s Delta variant. Worse than worse still is the order of 28 million doses of Sinovac for next year. Why? It might be fine if we have no other choices, but would we still have no other choices next year?

In a Clubhouse episode, a former student of Doctor Piyasakol Sakolsatayadorn, General Prayut’s go-to advisor, wept and talked of his disappointment over doctors who behave like politicians.

Google “หมอด่านหน้า” (frontline doctors) and find a slew of news stories on medical professionals suffering from the government’s failure to provide vaccines, beds, and other necessities, as well as nonsensical orders.

Meanwhile, people are rushing to queue up for the private sector’s Moderna vaccine as if it’s the first week Krispy Kreme hit Bangkok. But it will take till October for the vaccine to arrive. Why? So many bureaucratic red tapes.

With all due respect to Doctor Yong, Doctor Piyaskol, and all the doctors who have the ear of General Prayut. No need to make excuses for past mistakes.

Instead, please demand General Prayut to rip off bureaucratic red tapes. Then, beg, plea, hustle and harangue every government and every vaccine maker in the world for alternative vaccines. Make mRNA vaccines the priority now.

PS, please also recommend for the general to take a vacation and put someone sensible in charge. Because the right vaccines plus inept management equals mismanaging even the right vaccines.

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