People with medical issues urged to prepare for 'Bangkok shutdown'

The Public Health Ministry is urging people with important medical appointments and those who have to collect prescribed medicines to do so, ahead of the anti-government protesters' "Bangkok Shutdown".

Medical Services Department chief Dr Suphan Srithamma told a press conference yesterday that hospitals under his office had been advised to give priority to patients with doctor's appointments and to those who needed prescribed drugs during the expected shutdown protests. In case of emergency, people could call the hotline 1646, 1669 and 0-2354-8822 around the clock, he said, adding that protest leaders had vowed to provide access to emergency ambulances and vehicles.

The ministry has also prepared seven advance emergency teams and eight basic emergency teams to support the anti-government rally from today until January 10 and its major protest on January 13.

As for those injured during protest clashes with police, only seven still remained in hospital.