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Malpractice bill touted as ‘best solution’

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Malpractice bill touted as ‘best solution’
The Nation / Phuket Gazette

PHUKET: Supporters of the Protection of Victims of Medical Mistreatment Bill see no reason that would lead to some doctors wanting it scrapped.

“Every article in the bill will benefit doctors and improve patient-doctor relations,” Dr Pairoj Boonsirikamchai of the National Institute for Emergency Medicine said.

The bill promises to pay compensation to patients who suffer damage from medical services without a process of having to proving who or what is at fault.

“Through such an approach, patients and doctors won’t have to go through the complicated legal process of determining who should be held responsible. Conflicts between doctors and patients thus should be minimized,” said Dr Pairoj, who is also a former assistant to the Medical Council of Thailand’s secretary-general.

He said there was nothing bad about the bill, which probably offered the best solution in event of maltreatment.

“Money may not be the ultimate answer but patients’ comprehensive access to an appropriate amount of compensation should be the best way out,” he said.

He believed that the combined amounts of compensation would not exceed Bt1 billion a year if the bill came into law. “The government won’t go broke because of this size of budget,” Dr Pairoj said.

The bill would compensate patients who suffer preventable medical errors – not from natural illnesses.

“Even though we will not look into who should be held responsible or what exactly was the root cause of errors, we will not pay compensation for no reason,” he said.

A fund that would be activated by the bill would acquire money from three existing funds that would mobilize money from hospitals willing to contribute on a voluntary basis.

He said the minimum amount would reach 1.4 billion baht, plus a possible annual subsidy if the amount were not enough.

At present, medical-malpractice victims usually receive help under Article 41 of the National Health Security Office Act, which grants no more than 400,000 baht in compensation. The amount could be either disproportional to the damage or unsatisfactory to patients and relatives.

Article 41 was, thus, inadequate in delivering remedial help to medical-malpractice victims and in preventing legal disputes between the victims and doctors. As doctors now face the risk of lawsuits over maltreatment or alleged maltreatment, some have taken out insurance to protect themselves in the event of a patient lodging a complaint.

Dr Pairoj said that the Protection of Victims of Medical Mistreatment Bill would make a difference. While the bill did not put a ceiling on the amount of compensation, he said it was very likely that patients would be happy with the pay-out.

In addition, on receiving the compensation patients would be required to sign an agreement to give up any right to file a compensation lawsuit on the same grounds later.

Dr Pairoj defended the clause under the bill that would result in a board that governs the payment of compensation consisting of mostly non-doctors. “If you fill the board with mostly doctors, there will be a sense of distrust. People are prone to believe that doctors will help members of the same profession,” he said. “In addition, the process involved is not about whether recklessness is involved. It’s about whether damage occurred.”

Dr Pairoj concluded that the bill would benefit both doctors and patients. “I would like opponents to the bill to review their stance. Please focus on the best interests of people in general,” he said.

— Phuket Gazette Editors

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Thailand

PM Prayut postponing Covid‐19 vaccination citing paperwork issues

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PM Prayut postponing Covid‐19 vaccination citing paperwork issues | The Thaiger

Thailand’s PM Prayut Chan-o-cha is postponing his inaugural Covid‐19 vaccination citing paperwork issues with the AstraZeneca vaccine shipment. According to Khaosod English, the vaccine shipment was sent to Thailand last Wednesday from South Korea, but was missing the additional required paperwork.

Prayut was supposed to receive the vaccine tomorrow, but the highly‐publicised event will not be happening. According to Khaosod English, an official at the Secretariat of the Prime Minister has also confirmed the news of the postponement without citing a reason.

Although the Sinovac vaccine is also being administered in Thailand, healthcare officials say Prayut is too old to receive it as its age limit is 60. Prayut is 66 years old, which is well over the oldest age that can receive the vaccine.

The Sinovac vaccine drive is set to commence on Monday, 2 weeks behind schedule. Those frontline health workers, hospitality workers and vulnerable groups will receive the vaccines first.

Meanwhile, Phuket is waiting for the green lightto start administering vaccines and has already held a vaccine administration rehearsal overseen by Phuket Vice Governor Pichet Panapong along with other health officials.

Pichet says the first vaccine round of 4,000 doses should arrive early in March, with the 2nd and 3rd set of doses, 16,000 and 48,000 respectively, to arrive in April and May.

The government pandemic center reported 72 new confirmed infections on Friday, after first only reporting 45 new cases. 37 of those cases were locally-transmitted, and one 6 year old Thai girl returning from the UK was found to have tested positive for the virus. Samut Sakhon, again, reported over half of the new cases yesterday, as it remains the epicentre of Thailand’s second wave of the coronavirus outbreak.

The total virus tally in Thailand sits at 25,764, with 83 fatalities. The Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration has not yet announced the amount of new cases for today.

There is no word yet on when PM Prayut will be rescheduled to receive the AstraZeneca vaccine.

SOURCE: Khaosod English

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Thailand News Today | Week In Review | February 26

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Thailand News Today | Week In Review | February 26 | The Thaiger

Thailand News Today usually covers five days of the news week. This week only four days as today (Friday) is a public holiday. Now we have a weekend edition which goes over the biggest, or best stories, from the past week. Out every Saturday afternoon, catch up with Jett and Tim’s major Thai news stories. Welcome to the Thailand News Today Week in Review. Tim and Jett give you a quick recap of the main news stories.

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45 new cases today, 37 local‐Covid‐19‐Update

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45 new cases today, 37 local‐Covid‐19‐Update | The Thaiger

Thailand reports 45 new cases of Covid-19cases today, with 37 infections being locally-transmitted. 8 of those infections were imported, raising the total amount of infections since the pandemic began to 25,809.

The Department of Disease Control reports that 32 cases were confirmed at hospitals with 5 confirmed through active case finding in communities.

Samut Sakhon province, the 2nd wave epicentre, reported over half of the new cases at 19. 14 of those cases were confirmed at hospitals and 5 were detected in Myanmar communities. Bangkok has reported 3 new cases, Nakhon Nayok reported 5, Chai Nat 3, Nakhon Pathom 3, Saraburi 2, Prachuap Khiri Khan 1, and Samut Prakan 1.

45 new cases today, 37 local‐Covid‐19‐Update | News by The Thaiger

The 8 imported cases were those under quarantine arriving from Pakistan, Bangladesh, the UK, Germany, France, The Netherlands, and Kuwait. The case from the UK was that of a 6 year old Thai schoolgirl.

Globally, Covid-19 cases rose by 444,466 over the past day to 113.54 million. The worldwide death toll increased by 10,552 to 2.52 million. The United States still has the most cases at 29.5 million, with the most deaths at 520,785.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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