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Hospital director denies corruption, threatens to sue government health official

Maya Taylor

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Hospital director denies corruption, threatens to sue government health official | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Thai PBS World

The director of Khon Kaen Provincial Hospital in north-east Thailand is threatening Public Health Permanent Secretary Dr. Sukhum Kanchanapimai with a lawsuit following allegations of corruption. Dr. Charnchai Chanvorachaikul was transferred to Chanthaburi province in the east of the country following unconfirmed reports of corruption relating to donations to the Hospital Development Fund.

Dr. Charnchai completely denies the allegations, which surfaced in an anonymous letter sent to Dr. Sukhum. Dr. Charnchai insists all spending of the fund’s donations were approved by the board and can be accounted for and checked at any stage. This includes 143 million baht raised by Thai celebrity Toon Body Slam’s charity runs.

He also addressed reports of the 5% commission pharmaceutical companies allegedly gave hospitals in return for medication procurement, pointing out that such practices were banned by Cabinet two years ago. He maintains he has never received any financial incentive from drug companies, adding that he testified to this effect at a government fact-finding committee in January.

According to a report in Thai PBS World, Dr. Charnchai also denies an allegation of witness intimidation, pointing out that as he has no knowledge of who the witnesses may be, he cannot threaten them. He is demanding to know why he is being transferred to Chanthaburi when as yet, there has been no investigation into the allegations against him.

He is expected to be replaced in Khon Kaen by Dr. Kriangsak Watcharanukulkiat, director of Pokklao Hospital in Chanthaburi. It’s understood that Dr. Sukhum originally wanted both medical practitioners to swap hospitals two years ago, but the order to do so was overruled by the Public Health Minister at the time.

SOURCE: Thai PBS World

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Crime

Head of army band shot dead at military base in north-east Thailand – VIDEO

Maya Taylor

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Head of army band shot dead at military base in north-east Thailand – VIDEO | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Matichon

An army band leader has been shot dead at a military camp in the north-eastern province of Nakhon Phanom, with police launching a murder investigation. 34 year old Rungchalerm Pansawasdi was shot 3 times in the head and neck, at the Phra Yod Muang Kwang army base on Wednesday evening. He had just returned from having dinner with his wife, who had dropped him off and driven away.

Rungchalerm was getting on a motorbike when a man approached and shot him at point-blank range before running off. According to a Bangkok Post report, the victim was rushed to Nakhon Phanom Hospital but died a short while later.

Army commander Samart Jintasamit says the perpetrator is likely to be from the army base, adding that the gunman may have been following Rungchalerm for some time and may also have had someone else acting as a lookout. Samart says the gunman appeared to know that the back of the camp is currently being re-fenced, saying he could have escaped that way.

The police, who were at the camp the following afternoon to collect evidence, are working on the case with the help of the military. It’s understood the victim had recently requested a transfer due to conflict with a colleague. An autopsy is being carried out at Srinagarind Hospital, in the north-eastern province of Khon Kaen.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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Cannabis

Thai Public Health Ministry starts cannabis cultivation project in Buri Ram

Caitlin Ashworth

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Thai Public Health Ministry starts cannabis cultivation project in Buri Ram | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Nation Thailand

A cannabis cultivation project is being launched by Thailand’s Public Health Ministry in the Isaan province Buri Ram. 6 cannabis plants will be given to each member of the local Non Malai Community Enterprise as a pilot project on commercial cultivation of cannabis, according to the director of the ministry’s cannabis research group, Kitti Losuwannarak.

Cannabis flowers and buds will be sent to the Khu Muang Hospital in the province. Other parts of the plant will be processed as health products, according to Nation Thailand. Thailand recently removed parts of the cannabis plant with low levels of the psychoactive component tetrahydrocannabinol, aka THC, from the narcotic’s list. Parts of the plant with high levels of THC, like the buds, are still classified as a Category 5 drug under Thailand’s Narcotics Act.

Since the declassification of of cannabis leaves and stems with low levels of THC, a cannabis cafe opened up in Prachin Buri, east of Bangkok, serving dishes with cannabis leaves. A Bangkok dessert shop also announced it is adding cannabis leaves to their pandan and coconut pancakes.

SOURCE: Nation Thailand

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Crime

Man arrested in northeast Thailand, accused of producing fake bank notes

Maya Taylor

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Man arrested in northeast Thailand, accused of producing fake bank notes | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Daily News

Police in the north-eastern province of Si Sa Ket have arrested a 37 old man accused of producing counterfeit currency. Phichaphob Phankham was detained at a property in the Nong Phai district as part of an investigation into a trail of fake 100 baht notes in circulation in Si Sa Ket and neighbouring provinces. Police say his arrest follows the capture of 2 other suspects earlier this week.

“Earlier on Wednesday, we had arrested 2 suspects for using counterfeit bills at top-up kiosks in Si Sa Ket and seized over 300 fake bills.”

Nation Thailand reports that during Phichaphob’s arrest, police found a photocopier with 3 real 100 baht bills inside, as well as 45 fake 100 baht bills, a paper cutter, and packs of photocopier paper. The suspect has confessed to producing fake 100 baht bills, saying he would use them at phone top-up kiosks in Si Sa Ket and the neighbouring provinces of Surin and Yasothon.

It’s understood the accused has only just come out of prison, having been released on December 25. He has confessed to producing the counterfeit currency since January 24. He has been charged with making and using fake currency, which carries a penalty of anything from 10 years to life in prison and fines of between 20,000 and 40,000 baht.

SOURCE: Nation Thailand

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