“Public Health Ministry approves extended nightspot hours with preventive measures, facing opposition from StopDrink Network & concerns over potential negative impact on larger population. Government’s tourism revenue rationale met with criticism, as StopDrink Network proposes compensation fund. #PublicHealth #Nightspots #Tourism #StopDrinkNetwork #PreventiveMeasures #CompensationFund”
PublicHealth #Nightspots #Tourism #StopDrinkNetwork #PreventiveMeasures #CompensationFund
The Public Health Ministry has recently expressed that it holds no objections to the proposed government plan to extend the operational hours of nightspots. The Ministry has, however, stressed the importance of having the necessary preventive measures in place once the regulation is put into effect.
Impacting Public Health and Safety
Public Health Minister, Dr. Cholnan Srikaew, stated that the ministry’s readiness for the proposed regulation is not without prerequisites. The approval of the plan, according to Dr. Srikaew, should be based on a triad of clear criteria: First, there must be a clear zoning for entertainment venues, second, the target groups must be identified, and finally, preventive measures must be well-established.
Opposition and Proposed Alternatives
While the Public Health Ministry seems to be in favor of the proposal, it has received significant opposition from other quarters. An anti-alcohol drinking advocacy group, the StopDrink Network, has called on the government to postpone the proposal unless measures to handle potential repercussions are in place.
Wissanu Srithawong, a manager for public policy at the StopDrink Network, opined that despite the government’s intentions, the policy might likely have adverse effects. Srithawong insisted on the need for proactive measures to be in place before the policy is implemented. His claim is backed by surveys indicating that most people do not support the proposal.
The Economic Perspective
The government’s rationale behind proposing extended operating hours for nightspots to 4am is the projected increase in tourism revenue. However, critics like Srithawong believe that the policy might impact a larger population negatively. He noted that the number of people expected to benefit from the regulation is relatively small, and the policy may affect more than 70% of people who do not drink.
A Proposed Solution: The Fund
In anticipation of potential problems, the StopDrink Network proposed the creation of a fund. This fund, sourced from the liquor and related industries, would provide compensation to anyone negatively affected by the new regulation. Srithawong suggested that the fund should start with an annual budget ranging from five billion baht to 10 billion baht. It could be used to cover expenses for those who require medical treatment to help them quit drinking.
Srithawong also highlighted the ongoing debate among healthcare agencies about who should finance medication to help treat alcohol abuse, estimated to cost about 100,000 baht per person. He emphasized that the fund could provide a viable solution to not only health-related issues, but also to the financial problems and family issues caused by alcohol consumption.
Who Should Pay?
Night entertainment venues have been identified as part of the problem, and hence, Srithawong argues that they should contribute to the solution. The actual contribution from each industry, however, needs to be studied, he added. The proposal for the fund, in his view, is a good starting point to address the multifaceted issues arising from alcohol consumption.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the proposed plan for extending nightspot hours and who has approved this?
The proposed plan is to extend the operational hours of nightspots to 4am. The Public Health Ministry has approved this plan but stressed on the importance of having necessary preventive measures in place once the regulation is put into effect.
What are the opposition and concerns regarding the extended nightspot hours?
The main opposition comes from the StopDrink Network, an anti-alcohol drinking advocacy group. They have called for the postponement of the proposed plan unless measures to handle potential repercussions are put in place. Their concerns are based on surveys showing that most people do not support the proposal, and they believe the policy might impact a larger population negatively.
What is the StopDrink Network’s proposed solution to potential problems arising from the extended operation hours?
The StopDrink Network has proposed the creation of a compensation fund sourced from the liquor and related industries to help anyone negatively affected by the new regulation. The fund could cover expenses for those who require medical treatment to quit drinking and could also provide a solution to financial problems and family issues caused by alcohol consumption.