An investigation is underway following the death of a critically injured tourist who was allegedly denied treatment by a private hospital in Bangkok.
Nation Thailand reports that a Taiwanese man, named only as Chen, was struck by a car in the capital on the night of Thursday, December 7. He was rushed to an unnamed private hospital on Pattanakarn Road, just 500 metres from the scene of the accident, but allegedly denied treatment.
The tourist succumbed to his injuries while rescue workers were rushing him to a second hospital around 10 kilometres away.
The incident has been widely reported in Taiwanese media and on Thai social media, prompting Thailand’s health ministry and tourism ministry to launch an investigation.
According to a report by Taiwan’s TVBS news channel, Chen was on holiday in the capital as part of a group of 18 tourists. On the night of December 7, he left the group to explore Bangkok alone.
When he failed to show the following morning, the group leader filed a police report and was subsequently informed that Chen had been fatally injured in a hit-and-run incident.
A rescue worker present at the scene of the accident also posted on social media, saying that at around 1.50am on December 8, the Taiwanese man was found unconscious in front of Pattanakarn Soi 50, following reports of a hit-and-run.
Rescue workers performed CPR and then placed Chen in an ambulance, where he was attached to an oxygen mask and IV drip. While the ambulance was waiting for a response from nearby hospitals, the tourist regained consciousness, prompting the crew to rush him to the nearest medical facility, 500 metres away.
According to the rescue worker, hospital staff refused to see the patient until they received approval from their supervisor. When the supervisor arrived, she apparently berated the staff for having accepted the patient into the hospital without any accompanying family members.
The rescue worker claims the supervisor said that without relatives present, the hospital had no way of reclaiming medical expenses. At this point, she allegedly told the ambulance crew to take the severely injured man to a government hospital over 10 kilometres away.
The rescue worker’s social media post has gone viral and created a furore among netizens, prompting officials to launch an investigation. According to officials, the unnamed hospital will be investigated.
Dr Sura Wisetsak, chief of the Health Service Support Department, says all hospitals are required to treat emergency patients and patients found unconscious are covered under the Universal Coverage for Emergency Patients.
Sura adds that any hospital found to have denied treatment to an emergency patient faces a maximum fine of 40,000 baht and/ or a prison term of up to 2 years.
SOURCE: Nation Thailand