Connect with us

Expats

Deceased Phuket expat’s body stuck in hospital due to passport mix-up

Avatar

Published 

 on 

Deceased Phuket expat’s body stuck in hospital due to passport mix-up | Thaiger

In a nightmarish scenario, a deceased Phuket expat’s body is stuck in a Thai hospital as his step‐daughter claims hospital administrators won’t release the body due to a passport mix‐up.

Gemma Swift, the step‐daughter of 75 year old David Donoghue, who died 2 weeks ago, says she is pleading with embassy staff in Thailand to resolve, what she says, is purely an administrative issue after Donoghue’s passport number at the hospital was from that of an expired one.

Donoghue’s current passport was on file with the British Embassy, but because it did not match what the hospital had, his body has remained at the hospital. Swift says it was something that could easily be corrected and the situation was “horrendous” for the family.

“The British Embassy over in Bangkok, they said that because [the number] was from his current passport, they were unable to change the letter. They have said that they won’t reissue a letter with the passport number that he’s got in the hospital with him.”

She said her family planned to arrange a funeral for him in Thailand, then bring his ashes back to the UK. As he retired to Phuket 15 years ago, her family would then take his ashes back to Thailand, as per his wishes, to scatter them.

However, none of his family members were able to travel to Thailand to be with Donoghue in his final days, as the mandatory 14 day quarantine period upon entering Thailand, would not have allowed them to see him.

“I thought this was a basic human right to be able to give somebody a funeral and I accept that there is always going to be red tape…but please just issue a letter and let us bring him home.”

She said before Covid-19, family members travelled often to Phuket to visit Donoghue, who once worked for the Thai tourist police. She says the entire ordeal has been heartbreaking as her family was unable to say goodbye.

“That on its own was heart breaking, and now to get this two weeks later, to find out we can’t give him a funeral, or get his ashes back, it’s just horrendous.”

“It’s like being on autopilot… once we know we have done everything we can, we can start the grieving process, but at the minute we can’t.”

A Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office spokesperson said they are assisting Donoghue’s family during the difficult time.

“Our staff are in contact with the local hospital and funeral director to help his family obtain the necessary paperwork to ensure his body is treated in line with their wishes.”

If the situation isn’t fixed, Donoghue’s body will join a mass cremation at the hospital.

SOURCE: BBC News

📱 Download our app on Android or iOS for instant updates on your mobile
📧 Subscribe to our daily email newsletter
👍 Like/Follow us on Facebook
🔔 Subscribe to or Join our YouTube channel for daily video updates

18 Comments

18 Comments

  1. Avatar

    Gosport

    Wednesday, March 3, 2021 at 11:12 am

    Show your three fingers, tear down the Drowning Street.

  2. Avatar

    Geoff

    Wednesday, March 3, 2021 at 11:48 am

    Waiting for tea money.

  3. Avatar

    Stardust

    Wednesday, March 3, 2021 at 11:53 am

    This shows the pure incompetence of the officials and their buerocracy. To be not able to handle new and old passport number shows their absolute failure in managing a country or offices. It is a matter of a few minutes to fix it in the developped world. Talking about a digital revolution in Thailand but manage their officil offices like 150 years ago in Europe

  4. Avatar

    lou

    Wednesday, March 3, 2021 at 12:03 pm

    dont worry, they will still charge the farang family good amounts of the morgue’s stay, they found what they needed to keep the body for ridiculous reasons

  5. Avatar

    Toby Andrews

    Wednesday, March 3, 2021 at 12:15 pm

    The Thais are keeping the body on the spurious excuse that the paperwork is not in order.
    To MAKE money!
    Can nobody see that?
    I hope the body is refrigerated.
    All the family have to do is state. We are not paying you another baht.
    We are not paying anything we owe you, until the body is released.
    See how quick the Thais give up the body then.

  6. Avatar

    Colin G

    Wednesday, March 3, 2021 at 12:20 pm

    British Embassy – sadly, in my 25 years of living outside the UK, spread across the Middle East and Asia, only once have I found staff to be helpful (and then only as the lady concerned was a friend of my wife).

    Surely all they have to do is issue a letter that confirms the deceased person to “have held passport number XXXXXXXXX prior to his current document” or words to that effect. Not an intellectual challenge, I would have thought…..

  7. Avatar

    Svcoquette

    Wednesday, March 3, 2021 at 2:39 pm

    He like his passport is expired so what’s the problem? Amazing (not) Thailand. Another black mark against Thailand. After living here for 15 yrs and supporting the Thai economy this is how he is treated.
    Also amazing (not) the British embassy will not help.
    My sympathy goes out to the family.

  8. Avatar

    non-professional

    Wednesday, March 3, 2021 at 3:06 pm

    I am not surprised.

  9. Avatar

    Anna

    Wednesday, March 3, 2021 at 3:52 pm

    If Thailand really wants to invite foreigners these things should not happen its completely unacceptable, recentely the land of smiles is getting more media on killings, accidents, protests and lockdown, border closing etc… which is not healthy for tourism need to change its like thai community issues is blown up, mental issues, suicides, monks on drugs wake up thailand

  10. Avatar

    Maverick

    Wednesday, March 3, 2021 at 4:11 pm

    A lesson to us all keep passport records updated with family and local exec I toro for will if we have one. A close friend recently died in Phuket in November in fact local UK Consul, Embassy in BKK and Thai authorities were extremely efficient especially as his family could not get here. He had a dignified cremation and his ashes are back in the UK. Not sure exactly why is always the fault of the Thai’s , they just do things by the book.

  11. Avatar

    Maverick

    Wednesday, March 3, 2021 at 4:14 pm

    A lesson to us all keep passport records updated with family and local executor of will if we have one, seems odd that the sadly deceased gave hospital his out of date passport number!! A close friend recently died in Phuket in November in fact local UK Consul, Embassy in BKK and Thai authorities were extremely efficient especially as his family could not get here. He had a dignified cremation and his ashes are back in the UK. Not sure exactly why is always the fault of the Thai’s , they just do things by the book.

  12. Avatar

    Issan John

    Wednesday, March 3, 2021 at 5:11 pm

    Yes, Colin G, you would have thought that wasn’t exactly beyond the abilities of the British or any other Embassy.

    Particularly since, whether they want to or not, hospitals and undertakers aren’t allowed to release a foreigner’s body without authority from the Embassy which doesn’t seem unreasonable …

    … but no, of course, it’s all the Thais’ fault …..

  13. Avatar

    Chris

    Wednesday, March 3, 2021 at 6:57 pm

    As the family member who was dealing with my dads death in Thailand I can confirm that David Donoghue’s funeral took place on the 03 March 2021 at 3 pm his body was released from the hospital and David had a dignified funeral

  14. Avatar

    Issan John

    Wednesday, March 3, 2021 at 9:37 pm

    Maverick, according to other reports he took his old (expired) passport with him to the hospital by mistake.

    All that was needed was the routine letter from the Embassy authorising the hospital to release the body, with a brief note that his old / expired passport (#XXXXX) had been replaced by a new one (#YYYYY).

    … but according to the family the British Embassy refused to write a second letter, so now (at least according to some here) it’s all the hospital’s fault and “unacceptable”, “another black mark against Thailand”, “to MAKE money”, “ridiculous reasons”, etc, because they’re doing exactly what Embassies have previously insisted they do so that they’ve given Thai hospitals no legal choice.

    😢

  15. Avatar

    Ben

    Thursday, March 4, 2021 at 4:24 am

    The bureaucracy is truly amazing and that coupled with the corruption will ensure Thailand stays a developing nation. India is similar and China is trying to leave it behind. I usually try and see the positives in people first but this story sounds like a play for a payoff.

  16. Avatar

    Issan John

    Thursday, March 4, 2021 at 10:07 am

    What “bureaucracy”, Ben?

    All hospitals and morgues here need to release any foreigner’s body is a letter from their embassy, nothing else – that was introduced decades ago after embassies insisted on it.

    I’ve arranged it, more than once unfortunately, for friends, and it couldn’t be simpler and is entirely up to the respective embassy to action.

    It has nothing to do with whether Thailand is a “developing nation” or not, as it’s purely up to the embassies – they insisted on the policy and on taking the responsibility for releasing foreigners’ bodies.

    If there are any delays they’re down to the embassies, nobody else – certainly not the hospitals or “Thailand”.

    The only “play for a payoff” I’ve come across and was involved in trying to resolve was by the Swiss Embassy here, which was way beyond disgraceful.

    The Swiss Embassy refused to sign the papers to release the body of a naturalised Swiss citizen (ex-Singaporean) here until her Singaporean relatives had re-paid the Embassy for expenses the Embassy had paid, which her relatives couldn’t afford (they never asked her Swiss in-laws).

    The Embassy only eventually agreed to sign the release form when the hospital told the Embassy that if they didn’t agree to sign the letter allowing them to release the body then it would be included in a mass cremation, and the Embassy were told the media would be informed.

    AFAIK this was a bluff on the part of the hospital to push the Embassy to sign, as I’ve never heard of any such “mass cremations” here and when I asked the hospital they had no actual details.

    The Swiss Embassy’s “play for payoff” delayed the release of the body for a fortnight, until her relatives could have the funeral for her they’d flown over for.

    The responsibility is entirely the embassies’, nobody else’s, whether it’s a “play for payoff” as in the case of the Swiss Embassy or they just couldn’t be bothered to write a second letter, in the case of the British Embassy here.

    … but, of course, it’s all the Thais’ fault …

  17. Avatar

    David Mann

    Thursday, March 4, 2021 at 2:37 pm

    I have to agree with IJ on this one. The hospital and Thai authorities are doing exactly what the embassy’s have insisted on. It’s the Brits who need to get their act together here in my view.
    That said, and as sad as this is for the family concerned, it should serve as a reminder for all expats across the world. It amazes me how many people I know who don’t even keep contact telephone numbers up to date with family back home or wife’s and partners in their adopted country. Making sure your affairs are in order and making it easy for family locally and in your home country is one of the kindest and most sensible things you can do. The pain and trouble it can cause when you die to your loved ones is unfair and at a time when they are least able to deal with it. Don’t put these things off and sort it out now!

  18. Avatar

    Mr cynic

    Friday, March 5, 2021 at 12:58 am

    The british embassy being uncooperative and incompetent will come as zero suprise to any british citizen who has ever had to deal with them for any reason.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *



Read more headlines, reports & breaking news in Phuket. Or catch up on your Thailand news.

Ann Carter is an award-winning journalist from the United States with over 12 years experience in print and broadcast news. Her work has been featured in America, China and Thailand as she has worked internationally at major news stations as a writer and producer. Carter graduated from the Walter Williams Missouri School of Journalism in the USA.

Expats

Thailand looks at proposal to make it easier for expats and long-termers

Avatar

Published

on

Thailand looks at proposal to make it easier for expats and long-termers | Thaiger

Thailand is looking to make it easier for expats and long-term visa holders to stay in the country. The Immigration Bureau is hoping to boost investments and the economy once the pandemic is over. The proposed changes could do away with 90 day reporting requirements which have been well-received by expats.

Recently, the online website to report 90 day check-ins has been down, citing maintenance issues. Hotel staff have also been dealing with the TM-30 reporting system being down. Chayotid Kridakorn, a former head of JP Morgan Securities Thailand, told the Bangkok Post that immigration hoops are a key pain point for foreigners working in Thailand.

“We want to make it easier for foreigners to live and work in Thailand.”

Meanwhile, plans to help Thailand recover economically have been detailed in a framework to be proposed to the government’s economic panel in the next month. Improvements to immigration regulations, work permits for foreign experts, and visa applications are on the framework list. Relaxing location reporting requirements for foreign workers which is done through the 90 day reporting, is also slated to be amended.

The framework also will include inducements for foreign investors such as corporate income-tax cuts, relaxed property-holding rules and incentives for retirees and start-up companies. An adviser to Thailand’s Deputy PM, says he aims to bring in 1 million retirees or pensioners over the next few years. He says expats could collectively contribute as much as 1.2 trillion baht to the economy each year. But Thailand’s gross domestic product growth won’t return to pre-Covid levels until the 3rd quarter of 2022, according to the Bank of Thailand.

📱 Download our app on Android or iOS for instant updates on your mobile
📧 Subscribe to our daily email newsletter
👍 Like/Follow us on Facebook
🔔 Subscribe to or Join our YouTube channel for daily video updates

Continue Reading

Expats

Proposals to get rid of 90 day reporting and ease investment rules in Thailand

Tim Newton

Published

on

Proposals to get rid of 90 day reporting and ease investment rules in Thailand | Thaiger

In amongst a sea of bad new over the past week, a glimmer of hope for expats and long-stay travellers. You better sit down…

The Thai government are looking into changing the long standing 90 day reporting for people staying in Thailand longer than 90 days on a long-stay visa. But don’t get out the champagne just yet.

For the last few decades any foreigner staying in Thailand for more than 90 days had to report to Thai Immigration about their current whereabouts. Immigration officials added an online alternative a few years ago but its reliability has been patchy.

As far as The Thaiger can tell, the online reporting has been down for at least 3 months. (Comment below if you’ve had a different experience)

The Bangkok Post reports that the changes form part of a strategy “to boost investment and tourism revenue”.

For hotels that have had to report the arrival and location of any foreign arrivals, the equally unpopular TM30 form, the online posting of this information has also been equally patchy over the last few months (many hotels simply don’t bother – it’s up to YOU to insist they check you in with the Immigration system).

Though there has been no official announcement made at this stage, the desperation for visitors and tourist, that used to fuel up to 20% of Thailand’s annual GDP, is forcing all departments to look at relaxing earlier draconian or outdated paperwork in favour of encouraging more arrivals, during the Covid-era or or after.

Immigration officials have often cited the need to track transnational crime as the reason to maintain its strict, and often inconvenient, rules – 90 day reporting, TM30s and TM 28s.

But none of this has reached beyond proposal stage at the moment but, according to the head of a government taskforce investigating the proposals at the moment, there will never be a better time to bring Thailand’s immigration and investment rules into the 21st century.

Chayotid Kridakorn, a former head of JP Morgan Securities, in now leading a Thai government economic panel to recommend changes that will make it easier for investors and travellers to enter into, and stay, in Thailand, according to Bangkok Post.

Even on their most optimistic guesses, the Bank of Thailand says GDP is unlikely to return to pre-Civd levels until Q3, this year. Many pundits would say this is optimistic, indeed.

Other groups to fall between the immigration cracks, up to now, have included the digital nomads – people who want to work remotely, anywhere, anytime. Their creed is ‘have laptop and wifi – can work’. Most digital nomads have used various visas, and border hops, to keep living and working in Thailand. Under current rules, their work has been, strictly, illegal and a specific visa wold allow the Thai government to better control this huge resource and tax them more effectively.

Mr Chayotid says that Thailand doesn’t “want to be left behind and die with old technology”.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

📱 Download our app on Android or iOS for instant updates on your mobile
📧 Subscribe to our daily email newsletter
👍 Like/Follow us on Facebook
🔔 Subscribe to or Join our YouTube channel for daily video updates

Continue Reading

Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Privatising Covid vaccines – Thai government gives private hospitals the go-ahead to buy vaccines

Tim Newton

Published

on

Privatising Covid vaccines – Thai government gives private hospitals the go-ahead to buy vaccines | Thaiger

“About 10,000 people are being vaccinated around Thailand, on average, with 14,000 people being vaccinated each day in Phuket.”

Private hospitals and institutions have been given the official go-ahead to purchase up to 10 million doses of approved Covid-19 vaccines. The purchases will be in addition to what the Thai government is also doing. The major sticking point, despite the approval, however, continues to be the world supply shortage of vaccines, with demand far outstripping current supply.

The CCSA’s Dr. Taweesilp Visanuyothin announced that the Thai PM had approved the privatisation of vaccines but maintained that the roll out of free vaccines for Thais and people at risk would continue at full pace. The Thai government have been fending off accusations that it was blocking the acquisition of vaccines by private companies and hospitals. The 10 million doses approved for private purchases actually allows about 5 million vaccinated people with most of the approved vaccines needing 2 doses.

The spokesperson explained that the Thai government needs to have 40 million Thais vaccinated before they would be able to claim any scientific level of herd immunity. The public health minister said that around 10,000 people per day are being vaccinated around the country, on average. About 350,000 doses have arrived in Thailand and 1.5 million more doses are awaiting delivery for this month, according to the Thai PM.

The order allows the private sector to use a letter of approval from the Thai government to purchase its own supplies separately. Or, alternatively, to purchase directly from the government and resell to customers.

The government’s current order for vaccines is enough for around 35 million people with a local supplier, manufacturing the Oxford/Astrazeneca vaccine under license, from June this year.

Dr Taweesilp also urged private companies to target and purchase vaccines from manufacturers other than the vaccine companies the Thai government were already dealing with.

The following vaccines are currently approved in Thailand…

  • AZD1222 by AstraZeneca/Oxford University (2 doses)
  • ARS-CoV-2 (CoronaVac) by Sinovac (2 doses)
  • NT162b2/CORMIRNATY – Tozinameran by Pfizer/BioNTech (2 doses)
  • Covishield (ChAdOx1_nCoV19) by the Serum Institute of India (2 doses)
  • Ad26.COV2.S by the Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson (Single dose)
  • mRNA-1273 by Moderna (2 doses)

There are also current applications pending from other vaccine producers which will likely be approved in coming weeks.

Many expats have been chasing information about when they could expect to be vaccinated. Despite some promises from the government there has been little concrete information about formalities to register for vaccination at this stage. Meanwhile many expats have indicated they were prepared to pay for their vaccination but were unable to get clarification from private hospitals about when that may be available.

In Phuket the provincial government has promised ALL registered residents, local or foreign, that they would be eligible for government-funded vaccination. There has been a flurry of activity on the island over the past 2 weeks since the ‘Sandbox’ proposal was approved, in principal, for a July re-opening of quarantine-free tourism to vaccinated travellers. There has been queues and waiting lists at the island’s public hospitals every day for the past week. Currently some 14,000 people are being vaccinated every day, on average.

Meanwhile, the events of the past few days – the closure of entertainment venues and bars in 41 provinces, including all the main tourist areas – will force the government to re-consider any scheduled plans to re-open borders and reduction of quarantine times. Travellers are still allowed to visit Thailand, under new guidelines introduced on April 1, 2021.

What you currently need to enter Thailand…

  • Vaccine certificate, either a print out or the original document (or vaccinated travellers)
  • Certificate of Entry issued by the Royal Thai Embassy in your country
  • Covid-19 health insurance with a minimum coverage of US$100,000
  • Booking confirmation for an Alternative State Quarantine (ASQ) hotel
  • Negative Covid-19 test issued no more than 72 hours before departure

Anyone considering travelling to Thailand at this time is recommended to check with the Thai embassy in their country first, before making bookings of ASQ hotels or flights.

📱 Download our app on Android or iOS for instant updates on your mobile
📧 Subscribe to our daily email newsletter
👍 Like/Follow us on Facebook
🔔 Subscribe to or Join our YouTube channel for daily video updates

Continue Reading
Thailand News Today | Thai Airways in rehab, All go for Songkran | March 4 | Thaiger
Thailand1 month ago

Thailand News Today | Thai Airways in rehab, All go for Songkran | March 4

Phuket’s nightlife. Yes, bars and clubs are still open | VIDEO | Thaiger
Tourism1 month ago

Phuket’s nightlife. Yes, bars and clubs are still open | VIDEO

Thailand News Today | Covid passport talks, Thai Airways heads to court | March 2 | Thaiger
Phuket2 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid passport talks, Thai Airways heads to court | March 2

Phuket Thai food treats you need to try | VIDEO | Thaiger
Tourism2 months ago

Phuket Thai food treats you need to try | VIDEO

Thailand News Today | Bars, pubs and restaurants ‘sort of’ back to normal | Feb 23 | Thaiger
Thailand2 months ago

Thailand News Today | Bars, pubs and restaurants ‘sort of’ back to normal | Feb 23

In search of Cat & Dog Cafés in Phuket Town | VIDEO | Thaiger
Tourism2 months ago

In search of Cat & Dog Cafés in Phuket Town | VIDEO

Thailand News Today | Gambling crackdown, Seafood market to reopen, Vlogger challenge | Jan 21 | Thaiger
Thailand3 months ago

Thailand News Today | Gambling crackdown, Seafood market to reopen, Vlogger challenge | Jan 21

Thailand News Today | Covid testing for visas, Business impact, Vaccine approval | January 19 | Thaiger
Thailand3 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid testing for visas, Business impact, Vaccine approval | January 19

Thailand News Today | Weekend Bangkok bombs, Thailand fires, Covid update | January 18 | Thaiger
Thailand3 months ago

Thailand News Today | Weekend Bangkok bombs, Thailand fires, Covid update | January 18

Thailand News Today | Stray car on runway, Indonesian quake, 300 baht tourist fee | January 15 | Thaiger
Thailand3 months ago

Thailand News Today | Stray car on runway, Indonesian quake, 300 baht tourist fee | January 15

Thailand News Today | Governor off respirator, sex-trafficking arrest, condo prices falling | January 14 | Thaiger
Thailand3 months ago

Thailand News Today | Governor off respirator, sex-trafficking arrest, condo prices falling | January 14

Thailand News Today | Chinese vaccine, Thailand ‘drug hub’, Covid update | January 13 | Thaiger
Thailand3 months ago

Thailand News Today | Chinese vaccine, Thailand ‘drug hub’, Covid update | January 13

Thailand News Today | Bangkok may ease restrictions, Phuket bar curfew, Vaccine roll out | January 12 | Thaiger
Thailand3 months ago

Thailand News Today | Bangkok may ease restrictions, Phuket bar curfew, Vaccine roll out | January 12

Thailand News Today | Covid latest, Cockfights closed down, Bryde’s Whale beached | January 11 | Thaiger
Thailand3 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid latest, Cockfights closed down, Bryde’s Whale beached | January 11

Thailand News Today | Southern floods, Face mask fines, Thai Air Asia woes | January 8 | Thaiger
Thailand3 months ago

Thailand News Today | Southern floods, Face mask fines, Thai Air Asia woes | January 8

Follow Thaiger by email:

Trending