BANGKOK – Thailand’s Ministry of Public Health (MOPH) has reported that the country might have to spend more than Five Billion Baht ($142,839,250.00 USD) on healthcare for casualties during the Songkran holiday.
According to Public Health Permanent Secretary Sopon Mekthon, road fatalities throughout the Songkran holiday rose to 504, compared to 479 last year. More than 28,000 people were injured. Around 4.6% or 195 of those hospitalized will likely suffer some form of disability. Medical expenses are estimated to be at least five billion baht.
Reports indicated that road casualties peaked at 15,184 between April 13 and 15, leading to 244 deaths. The number of accident victims during the first three days of the Songkran festival represented more than half of accident victims throughout the week-long holiday.
Dr. Sopon said relevant agencies had been applying traffic accident prevention measures since the beginning of fiscal year 2016. Accident-prone areas have been fixed and more than 500 vehicle checkpoints have been set up in different areas before the long holiday. Emergency medical services have also been improved, both in the number of personnel and life-saving equipment.
The MOPH is analyzing the root causes of accidents that occur during the Songkran festival. The study should be completed within May.