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Khon Kaen Hospital director faces ‘kickback’ probe

Jack Burton

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Khon Kaen Hospital director faces ‘kickback’ probe | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Permanent Secretary for Public Health Sukum Kanjanapimai - Thai PBS World

A disciplinary inquiry has been ordered against the director of a hospital in northeastern Thailand, who stands accused of demanding kickbacks. Dr Charnchai Chanvorachaikul of Khon Kaen Hospital is accused of demanding a 5% commissions from pharmaceutical firms.

The inquiry was launched after an anonymous letter sent to the public health department’s permanent secretary. On Friday Charnchai strongly denied the allegations when he reported to the Public Health Ministry. He has been transferred to health ministry headquarters while an investigation is ongoing. The director of Prapokklao Hospital in Chanthaburi province has been appointed as acting director of Khon Kaen Hospital.

Dr Charnchai says he never demanded a kickback from pharmaceutical companies, and negotiations for discounts for the hospital’s medical procurement are transparent and on record.

He also insists that donations to the hospital development fund by pharmaceutical firms were made voluntarily, and furthermore the spending of public donations is overseen by a committee. He says he’ll seek a meeting with Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul next week to explain himself, and will petition the Civil Service Commission for fair treatment. He’s expressed concern that he won’t receive an impartial investigation.

The inquiry is being headed by the public health minstry’s inspector-general, who also served as a close aide of the public health permanent secretary. Bangkok Post reports that Charnchai is considering suing the public health permanent secretary for malfeasance.

Anutin, meanwhile, played down reports that Charnchai had threatened a lawsuit over the transfer order. He said he received a petition lodged by Doctor Charnchai and he would consult his legal advisers to determine what he can legally do in the situation.

“Fair treatment is the most important thing and, as the public health minister, I will not cross the line. I will adhere to the laws and regulations.”

SOURCES: Chiang Rai Times | Bangkok Post

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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.

Pattaya

Pattaya police raid nightclub suspected of presenting pornographic shows

Caitlin Ashworth

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Pattaya police raid nightclub suspected of presenting pornographic shows | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Facebook/นิธิธร จินตกานนท์

Pattaya City Police inspected a nightclub after reports that the venue was hosting pornographic shows on the weekends. Although the nightclub, Dragon Man Club, wasn’t presenting a sexually explicit show when officers came by, the owner was arrested for operating an entertainment business and selling alcohol without the proper permit.

Police say a tip was made through social media from an anonymous source. Officers asked the nightclub owner for the venue’s license, but the owner did not have the document at the time. Police arrested the owner. The nightclub owner was not named in reports.

SOURCE: Pattaya News

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Crime

Bangkok Military Court issues arrest warrant for medic accused of injecting troops with fake Covid-19 vaccine

Caitlin Ashworth

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Bangkok Military Court issues arrest warrant for medic accused of injecting troops with fake Covid-19 vaccine | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Facebook/Royal Thai Army

The Bangkok Military Court has issued an arrest warrant for a Royal Thai Army medic who is accused of injecting troops with a fake Covid-19 vaccine. He reportedly made more than 100,000 baht by charging troops, who were on a United Nations mission, 500 baht each for a tetanus vaccine and a fake Covid-19 vaccine, which an internal army investigation determined was just saline solution.

The Thai Army held a press conference after the medic’s fake vaccine scam made headlines, saying the incident had tarnished the army’s image. The field medic, who was also a lieutenant, injected more than 250 Thai troops stationed in South Sudan on a UN peacekeeping mission with the fake vaccine, claiming it was the head doctor’s order, Army Army spokesperson Santipong Thammapiya confirmed. He says the medic was in the Thai-South Sudan Horizontal Military Engineering Company.

“This incident affects the image of the Thai Armed Forces and Thailand in the United Nations mission. It is a serious disciplinary offence and also violates ethical standards as the wrongdoer is a doctor.”

The medic injected troops with a legitimate vaccine for tetanus as well as a saline solution shot he claimed was a Covid-19 vaccine. He charged 500 baht for the vaccine package, adding up to more than 100,000 baht, according to a UN investigation.

The medic had been sent back to Thailand. The Bangkok Military Court has now issued a warrant for his arrest. Previous reports said the medic’s license was revoked, but a recent report by Nation Thailand says the Medical Council is considering whether to revoke his doctor’s license.

SOURCE: Nation Thailand

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Gunman kills mayoral candidate, injures 4 other municipal candidates at funeral

Caitlin Ashworth

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Gunman kills mayoral candidate, injures 4 other municipal candidates at funeral | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Facebook/ ยงข่าวร้อน

A gunman shot and killed a woman running for mayor and wounded 4 others at a funeral in Ratchaburi, a province west of Bangkok near the Myanmar border. Police say they suspect the shooting was politically motivated. Out of the 4 people injured, 3 were running in the March 28 municipal election while another was the kamnan, a government official of a tambon, which is a sub district.

The gunman is still at large, but police say they suspect the shooter is Wanchart Niamraksa, a member of the Ratchaburi provincial administration organisation.

The gunman opened fire just as the kamnan of tambon Don Sai, Yingpan Kanket, was lighting candles and incense sticks under a Buddha image to start the ceremony, witnesses say. Shots were fired from behind the main Buddha image at the temple’s open prayer hall, witnesses say.

Bullets hit 5 people, including Yingpan who is in critical condition. Varaporn Niamraksa, who was running for mayor of the municipality, was shot and died at the hospital. Nakhon Wanpen, Somthawil Srirat and Monthien Jaitham, who are all running for the municipal council of tambon Don Sai, were shot.

Police found 2 spent .22 cartridges and a 11mm spent shell at the scene. The suspect faces charges of murder, attempted murder, carrying firearms and ammunition without permission and carrying them in public without a proper reason.

SOURCES: Nation Thailand | Bangkok Post

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