Connect with us

Phuket

Phuket medical tourism threatened by taxi thuggery

Published

 on 

PHUKET: One of Phuket’s leading hospitals has complained that ‘taxi mafia’ are preventing its drivers from picking up patients staying at certain resort hotels.

The complaint was one of many aired at a meeting at Phuket Provincial Hall on the topic of tourists being cheated in Phuket. The meeting was chaired by new Phuket Vice Governor Sommai Prijasilpa.

Pareeya Jullaphong, director of business development at Bangkok Hospital Phuket in Phuket Town, told the meeting that ‘taxi mafia’ has prevented hospital vehicles from picking up patients for about one year now.

“Sometimes we have to pick up patients from hotels as part of our service agreement. We have to hire other vans or limousines to pick up our patients, because we do not use ambulances to pick up customers who are not emergency cases. When we go to pick them up from the hotels, local taxi drivers surround our vehicles, scaring our customers,” she explained.

“Fortunately none of our workers has been attacked yet,” she added.

In order to avoid blockades, patients have to walk a long way with their belongings, she said.

To alleviate the problem, the hospital advises its agents to tell patients not to stay in hotels the hospital drivers have issues with.

“We don’t do this to hurt the hotels, but rather to avoid influential people in those locales,” she said.

Bangkok Hospital Phuket was not the only medical facility affected.

Peter Davidson, assistant manager of international services at Phuket International Hospital, said his drivers had encountered similar problems, even when using clearly-marked hospital vehicles.

“We’ve had problems in the past, but we try to manage them on a case-by-case basis and have not blacklisted any hotels,” he said.

There were no such cases when ambulances were involved, he said.

Such incidents occurred with drivers from a wide range of tourism-related businesses, not just international hospitals. The two hospitals are key components in the Phuket inbound market, combining for 20,000 room nights annually, he said.

Phuket’s third private hospital, Mission Hospital Phuket, had no such cases to report. Mission Phuket CEO Atikom Sriratanaprapat said the vast majority of patients arrive on their own or by ambulance.

Despite being popular among expat residents, the hospital does not market its services internationally in the same way as Phuket International and Bangkok Hospital Phuket, he explained.

It was founded in Phuket 72 years ago as a non-profit organization to help the local community, he said.

— Chutharat Plerin & Stephen Fein

 

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:

Events3 mins ago

Meatfest will host meat cooking and eating contests in Pattaya

Thailand9 mins ago

Shopee Thailand to lay off about 10% of employees

Thailand19 mins ago

VIDEO: Colossal crocodile stomps through road in eastern Thailand

Sponsored2 hours ago

Starting a business and obtaining SMART Visa in Thailand is easy with Startup Booster

Thailand57 mins ago

Dogs that allegedly abandoned by foreigner are adopted

Events59 mins ago

Phuket Vegetarian Festival underway, avoid firecrackers

Politics1 hour ago

Burmese beauty queen granted safe haven in Canada

Join the conversation on the Thaiger Talk forums today!
Weather2 hours ago

Tropical Storm Noru to hit northeast Thailand on Thursday

Thailand2 hours ago

Pattaya announces set prices & legal selling hours for beach services | GMT

Travel16 hours ago

10 Isan food you need to try at least once

Thailand17 hours ago

VIDEO: Floods tear through highway in northeast Thailand

Crime17 hours ago

13 murdered, including 7 kids by Russian neo-Nazi

Thailand18 hours ago

Vegetarian Festival on Yaowarat Road starts today

Thailand18 hours ago

Thailand News Today | Baht continues surge against strong dollar

Bangkok18 hours ago

VIDEO: Fire falls like rain from communication cables in Bangkok

Thailand19 hours ago

Father allegedy kills daughter’s cat for stealing his meatballs

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

Trending