PDRC to cut power at Health Ministry

Former Democrat MP for Phitsanulok Warong Dechgitvigrom has threatened to cut off power and water at the Public Health Ministry in Nonthaburi during Monday's mass rally.

Mr Warong on Saturday posted a message on Facebook urging protesters to gather at the ministry's offices on Monday.

The call came after the Public Health Community (PHC) issued a statement last week demanding the caretaker government step down immediately.

The meeting was reportedly chaired by Public Health Ministry permanent secretary Narong Sahametapat, who is facing a disciplinary probe for supporting the anti-government movement.

In the statement, Dr Narong asked the PHC to communicate the group's stance to their members but he stopped short of saying if the PHC would join the People's Democracy Reform Committee's (PDRC) Bangkok shutdown tomorrow.

Mr Warong posted on his Facebook page that PDRC protesters will gather at the National Health building inside the ministry compound at 8.30am tomorrow, then move to join the protest stage at Lat Phrao intersection.

The protesters will march from Ngam Wong Wan Road through Kasetsart intersection to Lat Phrao intersection on Phahon Yothin Road. Power and water at the Public Health Ministry will be cut off immediately after the procession leaves the ministry, Mr Warong said.

Caretaker Public Health Minister Pradit Sintawanarong yesterday called an urgent meeting with ministry executives to make contingency plans for the demonstrators' attempt to shut down the city tomorrow.

Dr Narong did not attend the meeting.

Dr Pradit assigned deputy permanent secretary for public health Dr Amnuay Kajina to chair a panel to oversee the situation.

He said the panel would work with other state agencies to provide safety for protesters and authorities deployed to maintain peace tomorrow.

Dr Pradit said medical volunteers, staff and ambulances were on standby.

He said he also told the Government Pharmaceutical Organisation to prepare necessary medicines and first-aid kits to serve the people.

As for the inquiry into Dr Narong, Dr Pradit said he would make an appointment with the permanent secretary and seek information.

However, he said the PHC was not representative of Public Health Ministry officials.

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