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Health minister promises hospital graft investigation

Jack Burton

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Health minister promises hospital graft investigation | The Thaiger
PHOTO: NNT
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Further to a story reported by The Thaiger, Deputy PM and Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul has pledged to investigate allegations that many of the ministry’s 186 hospitals have taken kickbacks from drug companies for buying their products. He says he’ll order a formal investigation, if there is any substance to the allegations, which he admits have tarnished the reputation of the ministry.

The allegation has put Public Health Permanent Secretary Dr Sukhum Kanchanapimai at odds with the director of Khon Kaen provincial hospital, Dr Charnchai Chanworachaikul, who was recently transferred to work at the ministry by Sukhum, who then appointed the director of a hospital in the eastern Chanthaburi province to replace him during an investigation.

Charnchai stands accused, in an anonymous letter, of allegedly receiving a 5% kickback from drug companies from March to October 2018, in exchange for buying products from certain suppliers.

Anutin says that he he’ll examine all aspects of the controversy to ensure fairness to all concerned.

Manoo Sawangjaeng, an independent academic, claims that in November last year, all 186 hospitals under the Public Health Ministry received kickbacks from drug companies, citing information he gleaned from sales representatives.

Drug companies in Thailand are divided into foreign makers, local makers and trading companies. Manoo says the trading companies, which import drugs from abroad, are the most directly involved in the kickback process.

In September, 2017, the Cabinet issued an order banning state hospitals from receiving kickbacks and all forms of benefits from drug companies, but drug companies simply switched to offering ‘donations’ to hospitals to beat the ban.

The deputy secretary-general of the National Anti-Corruption Commission blames budgetary constraints for making hospitals, mostly small community hospitals, feel the need to demand kickbacks from pharmaceutical companies, to be paid into a “welfare fund” for each hospital.

SOURCE: Thai PBS World

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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.

2 Comments

2 Comments

  1. Avatar

    ken jones

    June 11, 2020 at 4:11 pm

    Great ! We know how it works here at the end of the day he got a lot as well. Deception and slight of hand are alluring.

  2. Avatar

    Jesters_cry

    June 11, 2020 at 5:44 pm

    Investigate schools for graft as well. Fake foreign ‘teacher’scam has been going on for years.

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Crime

5 year old Burmese girl raped, murdered in Tak

Jack Burton

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5 year old Burmese girl raped, murdered in Tak | The Thaiger
PHOTO: matichon.com

Villagers in the north western Tak province were shocked yesterday by reports of the rape and murder of a 5 year old Burmese girl. Her body was discovered in a forest in Mae Sot district. Police went to Muhajireen community in Mae Sot after being notified of the crime. They found the girl’s body, her hands and legs bound with rope and her clothes torn.

It’s was assumed the girl was raped and murdered. 3 suspects have been arrested while authorities await forensic test results. Mae Sot Hospital has confirmed the girl suffered internal injuries and bleeding. Doctors also found a piece of cloth stuffed in her mouth.

The community of about 100 residents were horrified by the news. They say the girl went missing at around 7pm on Friday and was found the next morning.

Witnesses claimed that they saw a man take the girl away while she was playing alone in the yard. He reportedly returned alone. It was later revealed the man had previously been convicted for rape and imprisoned for 7 years when he lived across the border in Myanmar.

SOURCE: Nation Thailand

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Crime

Man fatally shot in hunting expedition

Jack Burton

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Man fatally shot in hunting expedition | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Line Today

Authorities in Lamphun province, south of Chiang Mai, have arrested 29 year old Weerachai Rorwongtawan for allegedly shooting dead his friend, Phitsunu Tanupetchpan, while hunting with 2 other friends. The suspect told police he had invited his friends to go hunting with him, and that he and Phitsunu were in different areas of the forest. When he saw something moving among some bamboo, he thought it was an animal and fired. Phitsunu later died of his wounds.

Weerachai claims he was shocked to hear his friend’s cries, and quickly decided to call the police and an ambulance. But the dead man’s older brother pointed to inconsistencies in the alleged killer’s story. He said Weerachai told him he thought Phitsunu was a wild cat and hence shot him. But when questioned by police he said he thought his friend was a rat.

He also said Weerachai did not confess initially that he had shot his brother, saying it was an accident. Police have confiscated the gun and are questioning Weerachai and the other people hunting at the same time. All were charged with use of narcotics after urine tests.

SOURCE: Nation Thailand

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Crime

Intoxicated navy officer fatally shoots police rescuer

Jack Burton

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Intoxicated navy officer fatally shoots police rescuer | The Thaiger
PHOTOS: 77kaoded

A police volunteer in Chon Buri province’s southern Sattahip district was fatally shot when he tried to rescue a heavily intoxicated navy officer from his flipped vehicle. A bystander was also shot and injured. Police were alerted to the incident at around 2am. When they showed up they found 33 year old Rit-rong Yasawut, fatally injured, with inebriated 23 year old Jirat Katanyoo laying next to him.

Also at the scene was 50 year old bystander Adun Chansaeng, the owner of a nearby restaurant, nursing a gunshot wound on his right arm, and the soldier’s girlfriend 23 year old Sutthina Wuttichai. She told police Jirat was drunk before driving, which resulted in him flipping the car. When Rit-rong showed up to try and rescue him, Jirat began firing at him.

Jirat had been shot 3 times in the chest and twice in the arm, and succumbed to his injuries at Somdej Phranangchaosirikit Hospital, where the others were also taken for treatment.

Police believe Jirat may have been so drunk that he started hallucinating that the rescuer was coming to attack him.

He faces charges of intent to murder, second degree homicide, brandishing a firearm in public and drunk driving. He remains in police custody and the Thai Navy has also been involved in the investigation. The case will be prosecuted by the Chonburi Military Court.

Intoxicated navy officer fatally shoots police rescuer | News by The Thaiger

PHOTO: Nation Thailand

SOURCES: Nation Thailand | Thai Examiner | The Pattaya News

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