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Thai Department proceeds with crackdown on shameless price gouging on medications

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

British arrivals ‘on hold’ after family confirmed with B117 Covid strain

The Thaiger

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British arrivals ‘on hold’ after family confirmed with B117 Covid strain | The Thaiger

In their latest proposal, Thailand’s Ministry of Public Health will request the CCSA to defer the entry of British visitors to the country after evidence of the faster-spreading B117 strain (aka. the “G strain”) of Covid-19 was found in 4 British travellers arriving in Thailand on December 21.

Over 30 countries have reported cases of the highly-transmissible UK variant of the novel coronavirus, raising fears of increased global spread of the virus, even as countries begin to unroll vaccination programs in the new year, including Singapore and Taiwan. Up to recently, Taiwan has had very few Covid-19 infections.

Vietnam is the latest nation to report a B117 case, which authorities detected in a woman quarantined after recent travel from the UK. Vietnam has banned nearly all international travel, but it is providing repatriation flights for citizens stranded in the UK.

Department of Disease Control announced that all passengers who were on board the same flight as the 4, or anyone who had come into contact with them, has now been located, tested and found to be clear of infection.

The 4 English patients were all from the same family travelling from Kent. The family are now confined to a hospital “and will not be released until medical officials test and clear them of Covid-19 risk”, according to the Centre of Excellence in Clinical Virology at Chulalongkorn University’s Faculty of Medicine.

The Centre’s Dr Yong Poovorawan says they’ve been collecting samples from Covid-19 patients for research and reported that the Covid-19 detected in the 4 British patients are of the B117 strain which is spreading quickly through the UK.

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Expats

Video of foreigner’s road rage in Pathum Thani gets mixed reaction from Thais

Caitlin Ashworth

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Video of foreigner’s road rage in Pathum Thani gets mixed reaction from Thais | The Thaiger

A video of a foreigner lashing out after a motorbike accident, yelling and hitting a Thai motorbike driver for pulling out in front of him and causing him to crash, has gotten a mixed reaction from Thais (you MUST watch it… below). The incident also caught media attention and Thairath made a post on Facebook pairing the clip from the foreigner’s helmet camera with dramatic music and editing.

The foreigner was driving on Route 3309 in Pathum Thani’s Muang district, north of Bangkok. He was filming a video on his helmet camera while he talked about the motorbike when another motorbike driver suddenly pulled out from an intersection, causing him to crash.

The foreigner fell off his motorbike and confronted the driver, yelling “Hey, what the f**k is wrong with you?!” He slapped the man’s helmet.

Some people say the Thai motorbike rider was driving irresponsibly and the incident could have been much worse if it involved a car. Some say the foreigner should’ve controlled his anger. Others say that’s just how traffic is in Thailand…get used to it.

To watch the dramatised video edited by Thairath, click HERE.

SOURCE: Thai Visa

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Visa

Government to raise 5-year Elite visa fee by 20%, as foreigners flee Covid countries

Maya Taylor

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Government to raise 5-year Elite visa fee by 20%, as foreigners flee Covid countries | The Thaiger
PHOTO: www.thailandelitevisa.com

As more foreigners opt for one of Thailand’s “elite” visas, allowing stays of between 5 and 20 years, and costing anything from 500,000 baht to 2 million, the most popular version is in for a price hike. The cost of the 5-year “Easy Access” visa will go up by 20% from January, to 600,000 baht.

It’s understood there were a record number of new applications for the visa this year, as foreigners sought refuge in a country that appears to have pretty much suppressed the Covid-19 virus. Nikkei Asia reports that an additional 2,674 applicants signed up for an elite visa during the company’s 2020 financial year, which ended in September. That’s an increase of nearly 25%, with the scheme generating revenue of 1.6 billion baht.

Somchai Soongswang from Thailand Privilege Card, which sits under the umbrella of the Tourism Authority of Thailand, says applications were received both from tourists stranded in Thailand, and people overseas who wished to escape Covid-19 in their own country. To date, Thailand has recorded just over 4,000 cases of the virus, significantly lower than the numbers logged by other south-east Asian countries.

It’s understood that as of the end of September, over 11,100 people hold an elite visa, as part of 9 different packages offered by Thailand Privilege Card. Most of them are from China, Japan, South Korea, the UK, and the US. The company plans to sign up at least another 2,700 for the fiscal year 2021, and is currently working on its latest offering, which will be the 10th visa package in the scheme.

The “Flexible One” elite visa is aimed at property investors who spend at least 10 million baht. For their investment, they will be offered a 5-year visa, either for free or at a discount, in a move aimed at boosting the Kingdom’s flailing property market.

SOURCE: Thai Visa | Nikkei Asia

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