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Bangkok clinics in 72 million baht fraud scandal

Jack Burton

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Bangkok clinics in 72 million baht fraud scandal | Thaiger
FILE PHOTO

The National Health Security Office has registered a complaint against 18 clinics in Bangkok, and thousands of patients will be questioned by police investigating an alleged 72 million baht in fraudulent claims under the government’s 30 baht scheme, also known as the “gold card” scheme. Police said yesterday that as many as 10,000 patients of the rogue clinics may be asked to provide information.

Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul says the clinics could ace criminal charges and will be sued to recover the damage caused to the state budget if found to have acted fraudulently.

Clinics join the NHSO by treating patients from their communities under the Chum Chon Ob Oon (Community Warmth) project. Residents in the communities get free checkups, with the cost covered by the NHSO. The initiative was created to reduce the workload on hospitals, using the clinics for frontline treatment. Clinics in Bangkok and provinces throughout the country have joined the scheme.

The alleged fraud was detected by an NHSO panel sifting through records of spending by the clinics from October 2018 to September last year. It was made public by a Pheu Thai Party MP for Bangkok. He says clinics listed false names for nonexistent patients who supposedly received medical examinations, and used them to claim reimbursements from the NHSO.

The complaint also alleges the clinics changed the health records of some patients, adding false information so they could claim additional reimbursement. For example, the record of a patient with a normal body mass index might be changed to indicate a greater health risk so the clinic could get more money.

The NHSO could terminate its contract with the clinics, but this would more than 200,000 members of the health care scheme would need to find new clinics to attend.

SOURCES: Bangkok Post | Newsday 24

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2 Comments

2 Comments

  1. Avatar

    sam thompson

    Saturday, July 11, 2020 at 11:41 am

    No surprises there then…..anything that involves huge amounts of public money being passed out to any sort of organisation [particularly if the scheme lacks appropriate checks and balances] is likely to head straight down this path…..this is especially applicable in the certain countries….n’uff said

  2. Avatar

    Toby Andrews

    Saturday, July 11, 2020 at 2:11 pm

    They cannot stop themselves can they?
    Only this time it is government money, not foreigners’ money.
    There will be no slap on the wrist.

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Jack Burton is an American writer, broadcaster, linguist and journalist who has lived in Asia since 1987. A native of the state of Georgia, he attended the The University of Georgia's Henry Grady School of Journalism, which hands out journalism's prestigious Peabody Awards. His works have appeared in The China Post, The South China Morning Post, The International Herald Tribune and many magazines throughout Asia and the world. He is fluent in Mandarin and has appeared on television and radio for decades in Taiwan, Mainland China, Hong Kong and Macau.

Songkran

Bangkok sees 7.87 million vehicles over Songkran holiday

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Bangkok sees 7.87 million vehicles over Songkran holiday | Thaiger
FILE PHOTO: Millions traveled for Songkran, but not nearly as many as usual, like this 2013 Songkran photo.

Covid-19 and its third wave be damned, close to 8 million vehicles travelled in and out of Bangkok so far during this year’s Songkran festival holiday period. Thailand’s Ministry of Transport released figures yesterday on the yearly holiday and revealed that more than 7.87 million cars, trucks, buses and motorbikes hit to roads and travelled into and out of Bangkok during the festival period, despite almost all official celebrations, events and gatherings being cancelled nationwide again this year.

The figures, calculating incoming and outgoing traffic between April 10 and April 14, show that travel is much lower than originally predicted but massively higher than last year’s travel. The drop makes sense as many predictions may have been made before the last minute closures of entertainment venues and cancellation of Songkran events due to the recent third wave outbreak of the B117 strain of Covid-19. The 7.87 million vehicles figure is about 30 per cent lower than predicted. There were also an estimated 4.52 million people using public transportation such as buses over the holiday period, again lower than predicted, this time by about 36 per cent.

On the other hand, in what may be a bad sign for Thailand’s health, at a time when new daily records are being set for Covid-19 infections, many more people are ignoring the pandemic and travelling anyway. The nearly 8 million vehicles on the roads to Bangkok during Songkran represent a nearly 35 per cent increase over last years Coronavirus-muted figures. And when social distancing is of utmost importance, the 4 and a half million people travelling by public transport is a startling 74 per cent increase over the nearly completely locked-down figures of 2020’s Songkran holiday period.

One final note for the “if Covid-19 doesn’t get you, climate change will” crowd: Of the 7.87 million cars, buses, trucks, and motorbikes on the road, a very non-eco-friendly 7.4 million of them were private vehicles.

SOURCE: The Pattaya News

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Covid UPDATE: Wednesday’s new infections rise to 1,335 people, 36 people in “serious condition”

Tim Newton

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Covid UPDATE: Wednesday’s new infections rise to 1,335 people, 36 people in “serious condition” | Thaiger

Thailand’s CCSA has announced 1,335 new infections today, after a slight dip in the 10 day surge yesterday. 1,326 of those new infections are local, not imported, and mostly from Bangkok. Today’s tally takes the national total to 35,910 since January 2020 when the first case outside China was detected in Thailand on January 13.

The new infections have mostly emerged in Bangkok with 351 cases. Surrounding provinces report an additional 115 infections today. In other provinces, 877 people.

It’s also been reported today that 36 people are currently in a serious condition and 9 people are on ventilators. Here’s the number of cases reported each day since the start of April…

April 1 – 26 infections

April 2 – 58 infections

April 3 – 84 infections

April 4 – 96 infections

April 5 – 194 infections

April 6 – 250 infections

April 7 – 334 infections

April 8 – 405 infections

April 9 – 559 infections

April 10 – 789 infections

April 11 – 967 infections

April 12 – 985 infections

April 13 – 965 infections

April 14 – 1,335 infections

Meanwhile, Prachuap Khiri Khan officials have ordered the closure of “high risk venues” such as pubs, bars, water parks, children’s playgrounds, gyms, cinemas, game shops. The Governor says restaurants can open “but no alcohol can be served”. This includes the seaside town of Hua Hin.

In Krabi there is now a total of 11 infections, 6 new ones yesterday.

In Chon Buri, which includes Pattaya, there were 99 new confirmed infections of Covid today … a similar number to the past few days.

Total number of infections being treated in provinces…

• Bangkok: 1,689
• Chiang Mai: 880
• Chonburi: 594
• Samut Prakan: 416
• Narathiwat: 304
• Prachuap Khiri Khan: 265
• Samut Sakhon: 166
• Pathum Thani: 124
• Sa Kaeo 105
Covid UPDATE: Wednesday's new infections rise to 1,335 people, 36 people in 

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Bangkok police tracking down owners of Thong Lor clubs where virus resurfaced

Maya Taylor

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Bangkok police tracking down owners of Thong Lor clubs where virus resurfaced | Thaiger
PHOTO: Facebook / Krystal Club

Police in Bangkok are on the hunt for the owners of 2 nightclubs considered ground zero for a third wave of Covid-19 currently spreading around the country. The Krystal Club and Emerald Thonglor 13, in the capital’s fashionable Thonglor district, are currently closed, with the managers of both sentenced to 2 months’ imprisonment. However, officials are now attempting to track down the real owners of both establishments.

Nation Thailand reports that the authorities are examining ownership and shareholding documentation related to the 2 venues, after police chief Piya Tawichai confirmed a cluster of Covid-19 infections is believed to have spread from the clubs. The managers of both venues have been charged with violating the emergency decree and disease prevention regulations, with the Bangkok Municipal Court sentencing them to 2 months’ imprisonment on April 9.

The head of Metropolitan Police Division 5, Sophon Saraphat, has also transferred 2 Thonglor police officers, including the superintendent of Thonglor police station, while an investigation into the Covid-19 cluster continues.

Sophon says authorities are also examining the operating licences of both clubs, which have been closed for 30 days, while officials determine if they should be shut down for a period of 5 years.

3 nightlife venues in Phuket, thought to be behind a resurgence of Covid-19 in the southern province have been closed as part of a wider temporary shutdown of nightlife on the island. It is not yet known if the owners will face prosecution.

The Illuzion and Shelter nightclubs in Patong, along with the Café del Mar beach club in Kamala each held mass parties during the weekend of April 2- 4, with invited guests travelling from as far as Bangkok. Media reports put attendance at each party at over 3,000.

SOURCE: Nation Thailand

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