Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha told the opposition leader that budgets for public health were actually bigger than those for defense.
Gen Prayut directed his message to opposition leader Sompong Amornwiwat during a parliament session on the 2022 Budget Bill. Mr Sompong earlier questioned if it was appropriate for the government to cut the budget of the Public Health Ministry amid COVID-19 outbreaks but not to reduce significantly the budget of the Defense Ministry.
Gen Prayut who is also the defense minister told the parliament that actually overall budgets for public health were higher than defense budgets when three funds under the Public Health Ministry were included.
He referred to the National Health Security Fund, the Emergency Medical Fund and the Thai Traditional Medical Knowledge Fund.
The budget of the Public Health Ministry was set at 150 billion baht. When the three funds were included, the overall budget for public health amounted to 295 billion baht, down by only 1.7% or about 5 billion baht from last year’s figure, Gen Prayut said.
Over the past two years, the budget of the Defense Ministry had been cut by about 10 billion baht annually, he said. (TNA)