Connect with us


Opinion: Medical Certificates – Who’s Fooling Whom?



PHUKET: As part of its ongoing reforms, the current government should revise or eliminate the Medical Certificate (bai raprawng phaet) as a requirement in so many government application procedures.

In the process of renewing his work permit, this editorialist was recently handed a form citing, among numerous other documentary requirements, “a medical certificate certifying that the applicant is free from the prohibited deceased.

In theory, it makes sense to have a doctor certify that seekers of a work permit are in good health and free of dangerous contagious diseases.

In reality, though, there are countless private clinics in Thailand that will serve up a medical certificate in a jiffy. Just walk in and ask for one. A receptionist will hand a form to what may or may not be a doctor for signature. In many cases you’ll not see that person, nor will anyone even check your pulse to be sure you’re not a member of the walking dead. Pay 200 baht and you’re off to the next hurdle in a bureaucratic paper chase that has no finish line.

Of course some hospitals do have protocols that pay at least a modicum of respect to the notion that a medical certificate really shouldn’t be a joke.

“Do you have elephantiasis?” is always a major feature in the application process at such institutions.

Merriam-Webster defines the condition as an “enormous enlargement of a limb or the scrotum [testicle bag] caused by…worms (especially Wuchereria bancrofti).”

Is it an epidemic? What are the odds of contracting it? Just how great a threat to national security is a lavish alien ball pouch?

Currently the only lab test for a work permit is syphilis. What are the odds of anyone having that these days? If it’s widespread here, that would certainly be news to the Phuket Gazette. There are a number of other, more prevalent conditions that would pose a far greater risk to public health and fitness for work.

It is impossible to estimate how many man-hours and baht have been wasted down this outdated, bureaucratic abyss. The only beneficiaries are the owners of the clinics.

It is time for the government to either standardize and modernize the system or just scrap it altogether.


Get more from The Thaiger

Join the conversation and have your say on Thailand news published on The Thaiger.

Thaiger Talk is our new Thaiger Community where you can join the discussion on everything happening in Thailand right now.

Please note that articles are not posted to the forum instantly and can take up to 20 min before being visible. Click for more information and the Thaiger Talk Guidelines.

Archiving articles from the Phuket Gazette circa 1998 - 2017. View the Phuket Gazette online archive and Digital Gazette PDF Prints.

Follow Thaiger by email:

Hong Kong10 mins ago

Shark alert – llegal Chinese money lenders nailed in Pattaya

Thailand27 mins ago

Bangkok airport shames driver for parking in disabled bay

Politics51 mins ago

Never forget Thailand’s October 6 massacre

Sponsored2 hours ago

Segafredo Zanetti Coffee teamed up with Bangkok Airways and hosted “Bangkok Airways Surf Festival 2022”

Thailand1 hour ago

Angry American man smashes up a Thai man’s car

Travel2 hours ago

What to pack for a holiday in Thailand: The essential packing guide

Politics2 hours ago

Rumours of tension between Prayut and Prawit over flood comments

Join the conversation on the Thaiger Talk forums today!
Thailand2 hours ago

Jealous husband allegedly kills wife

Hot News3 hours ago

Taiwan prepares for battle with China

Weather3 hours ago

17 of Thailand’s national parks close waterfalls and attractions due to floods

Hot News3 hours ago

North Korea fires two ballistic missiles in direction of Japan

Thailand3 hours ago

Thailand voted No.3 in list of ‘Top Countries In The World 2022’

World3 hours ago

China punishes Taiwan farmers for Pelosi visit

Hot News3 hours ago

US points fingers at Russia and China over North Korea’s latest actions

Things To Do3 hours ago

Immersed in coffee on Ratchadamri Road

Thailand4 hours ago

Thailand slowly recovering from high prices & Inflation | GMT

Thailand1 year ago

Morning Top Stories Thailand | Police to end protests, Human Trafficking | September 14

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Thai Airways in rehab, All go for Songkran | March 4

Tourism2 years ago

Phuket’s nightlife. Yes, bars and clubs are still open | VIDEO

Phuket2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Covid passport talks, Thai Airways heads to court | March 2

Tourism2 years ago

Phuket Thai food treats you need to try | VIDEO

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Bars, pubs and restaurants ‘sort of’ back to normal | Feb 23

Tourism2 years ago

In search of Cat & Dog Cafés in Phuket Town | VIDEO

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Gambling crackdown, Seafood market to reopen, Vlogger challenge | Jan 21

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Covid testing for visas, Business impact, Vaccine approval | January 19

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Weekend Bangkok bombs, Thailand fires, Covid update | January 18

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Stray car on runway, Indonesian quake, 300 baht tourist fee | January 15

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Governor off respirator, sex-trafficking arrest, condo prices falling | January 14

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Chinese vaccine, Thailand ‘drug hub’, Covid update | January 13

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Bangkok may ease restrictions, Phuket bar curfew, Vaccine roll out | January 12

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Covid latest, Cockfights closed down, Bryde’s Whale beached | January 11