Rural Doctors Society president faces probe over procurement irregularities

Photo Courtesy of Bangkok Post

An investigation committee has been established by the Public Health Ministry to probe alleged procurement irregularities involving Dr Supat Hasuwannakit, the president of the Rural Doctors Society (RDS). The allegations date back to when Dr Supat was the director of Chana Hospital in Songkhla between 1999 and 2022.

Dr Rungrueng Kitphati, a spokesperson for the ministry, announced yesterday that the committee was formed following evidence suggesting that Dr Supat, who is currently the director of Saba Yoi Hospital in Songkhla, had not adhered to procurement guidelines. The committee is chaired by Dr Kittisak Aksornwong, a ministry inspector, and includes six other officials. It was established by an order signed by Pongkasem Kaimook, the ministry’s deputy permanent secretary.

According to Dr Rungrueng, Dr Supat approved the purchase of Covid-19 ATK test kits on five occasions in 2019, with each transaction valued at no more than two million baht. However, these procurements allegedly did not comply with the Public Procurement and Supplies Administration Act’s guidelines or methods. Dr Supat’s actions are considered a significant disciplinary breach that has undermined the government’s functioning, he added.

In addition to the procurement issue, the ministry has accused Dr Supat of corruption in relation to an 80 million baht construction project in 2019. Dr Rungrueng claimed that Dr Supat altered the specifications for the height of the second to fifth floors, instructing the contractor to reduce the height by 50 centimetres per storey. Furthermore, he is accused of ordering the procurement of elevators for the building after construction had been completed, reported Bangkok Post.

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The spokesperson stated that Dr Supat’s actions violated the Finance Ministry’s regulations concerning contract management and inspection. The investigation committee has been given 45 days to complete its inquiry in accordance with the Civil Service Act.

Thailand News

Mitch Connor

Mitch is a Bangkok resident, having relocated from Southern California, via Florida in 2022. He studied journalism before dropping out of college to teach English in South America. After returning to the US, he spent 4 years working for various online publishers before moving to Thailand.

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