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Thai Department proceeds with crackdown on shameless price gouging on medications

The Thaiger & The Nation

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Thai Department proceeds with crackdown on shameless price gouging on medications | The Thaiger

Despite a lot of resistance from the local Thai private hospital networks, The Department of Internal Trade says they will proceed with its crackdown to control prices of medicines now that it has received their price lists.

Once legislation is enacted, hospitals selling medicines above the median price set by the department will face fines and/or imprisonment. Since August 16, every hospital has been required to print out QR codes so patients can compare prices.

Many Thai private hospitals have been price gouging patients for medications sold through their in-house dispensaries for years, sometimes inflating prices for prescription medications up to 3,000% the price of a local pharmacy.

Prayoth Benyasut, the department’s deputy director-general, says private hospitals, manufacturers, importers and dealers provided the department with their price lists on July 31, and DIT has used this data to set a price for each item, which will be made accessible to customers.

“If hospitals are not able to explain why a medicine is overpriced, they will be fined 140,000 baht or be imprisoned for seven years, or face both a jail term and fine.”

The DIT says it will summon 20 private hospitals to testify after they failed to meet the July 31 deadline to provide their price lists.

“If they don’t show up, they will face three months in jail and/or fined 5,000 baht. Those who have failed to provide complete data will be fined 2,000 baht, while those that have failed to respond to the deadline will be fined 20,000 baht and/or imprisoned for a year.”

The DIT will release a list of pharmacies on its official website, www.dit.go.th, so people can have their prescriptions filled there, though this option is still being considered by the Pharmacy Council of Thailand.

The department has also sent its agents to check if private hospitals are displaying the QR codes. People can also check the price of drugs on the www.hospitals.dit.go.th website, according to The Nation.

Private hospitals will also be required to follow the Joint Standing Committee on Commerce, Industry and Banking’s notification on regulations on drugs, medical supplies and medical services, which insists that patients be provided with estimated costs before they are admitted to hospital. Hospitals are also required to provide patients with prescriptions that have clear information and instruction.

SOURCE: The Nation

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1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Avatar

    Willy

    August 26, 2019 at 5:43 pm

    Your Links on the Hospital Medication report are useless and send me to the Nirwana.

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Expats

Immigration overhaul – TM6 disappearing and TM30 App being launched

The Thaiger

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Immigration overhaul – TM6 disappearing and TM30 App being launched | The Thaiger

“We made the decision last Friday. Within two to three months, life will be much easier for foreign tourists and expats.”

In what appears to be a major overhaul of immigration procedures, dare we say ‘modernisation’, foreign visitors will soon no longer have to fill out the “TM6” arrival forms. The white and blue form has been a source of confusion for decades as passengers try to fill them out on planes or in a mad rush when they arrive at immigration desks without them, for decades.

The reason for the decision to go all-digital with the arrival procedure is that, of all reasons, the storage of all the white and blue cards had become an issue.

But wait, there’s more.

Now khaosodenglish.com are reporting that Thai immigration is not only doing away with the TM6 forms, they’re about to launch a new mobile phone app to make TM30 reporting easier.

Kobsak Pootrakool, the Deputy Secretary-General to the PM, also mentioned on Tuesday that another app is being developed to allow long-stay foreigners to complete their 90 day reporting with their smart phone. And, yes, he said a smartphone App was also going to make the TM30 reporting easier.

The TM30 form, and its companion, the TM28, have been a source of expat displeasure over the past five months since the immigration department decided to enforce a little-used 1979 law that required foreigners to report their whereabouts if they had stayed overnight at an address different from their registered address.

The same applied for landlords or owners of accommodation to report foreigners staying at their venues within 24 hours. Along the way there appeared cracks in the enforcement with all sorts of variations and conundrums being thrown up at organised panel meetings and online, little of which was answered with any certainty from the Thai immigration authorities.

Kobsak now claims that the changes are designed to attract more visitors and accommodate those already living in the kingdom.

“We made the decision last Friday. Within two to three months, life will be much easier for foreign tourists and expats.”

“Foreigners will be able to report their whereabouts with just four clicks on their smartphone to fulfill regulations that require them to report to immigration authorities every 90 days.”

Deputy immigration commander Nattapon Sawaengkit has confirmed the move to move the TM30 reporting online when contacted for comment, but assigned another officer to explain the details, according to the khaosodenglish.com report.

SOURCE: khaosodenglish.com

Immigration overhaul - TM6 disappearing and TM30 App being launched | News by The Thaiger

Everyone’s favourite arrival procedure, the TM6 form.

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Expats

More industry groups line up calling for TM30 abolishment

The Thaiger

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More industry groups line up calling for TM30 abolishment | The Thaiger

More industry and NGO groups are lining up with criticism or calls for abolishment of the embattled TM30 and TM28 immigration forms. Most of the criticisms focus on the draconian nature of the forms, confusion around interpretation and the problems with inconsistent implementation.

Trade and commerce organisations are saying it flies in the face of the government’s wishes for Thailand to be a place to invest in and conduct business.

Now, the European Association of Business and Commerce is recommending to the Thai government to completely do away with the TM30.

“And, as an immediate step towards achieving that, remove from its scope many categories of foreigners.”

They say the same applies to the related TM28 form as well.

“The TM30 process has been in the news due to its inconvenience, questions about its value and usefulness, the questions it raises about commitment to ‘ease of doing business’ and the recent, almost inexplicable crackdown via an old law much of which has been dormant for decades.”

“The TM30 form and process in effect requires landlords to report on the location and movement of foreigners who are their tenants. Hotels have the same obligation but for foreign tourists staying in hotels, it is not noticed by those tourists as the hotel uses the TM6 arrival card information from their foreign guests.”

“Section 38 of the Immigration Act (which is the basis of TM30) has been around since 1979, but was not enforced until since late March 2019. It is being enforced inconsistently with various local interpretations. TM.28 (supported by s. 37 of the Immigration Act) is an often overlapping obligation on foreigners to report.”

The submission has been made to Dr. Kobsak Pootrakool, Deputy Secretary‐General to the Prime Minister for Political Affairs.

SOURCE: EABC

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Expats

68 year old Australian hangs himself after alleging Pattaya police failed to take a missing passport report

The Thaiger

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68 year old Australian hangs himself after alleging Pattaya police failed to take a missing passport report | The Thaiger

A 68 year old Australian has been found hanged in a room in Buriram, north east Thailand.

Buriram police were called to the hotel near the city bus station after receiving reports about the deceased foreigner on the third floor room.

The man was hanging from a nylon cord and had been dead for an estimated three hours. Attached to the wall was a suicide note along with 3,000 baht. Police report that there were no signs of a struggle or foul play.

Thai Rath report that police contacted a recent phone number on the man’s phone and spoke to a Thai woman. The 29 year old lady told police she had travelled to Pattaya on a trip with her husband and two children and had come across the victim who was in a “desperate and sad state”.

He said that he had lost his passport and possessions but that the Pattaya police were not interested in filing a report. She offered to help him and gave him her phone number. Rescue services in Pattaya provided the man with some short term relief funds and then travelled to Buriram.

The Thai woman told police she helped him to travel to Buriram to file a report with local police, that was accepted there. The man’s name is being withheld pending contact with his family in Australia.

SOURCE: Thai Rath

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