A private hospital in Bangkok is facing charges after refusing to treat a Taiwanese tourist who subsequently died from his injuries. The tourist, named only as Chen, was seriously injured after being struck by a car in a hit-and-run incident on the night of December 7.
Rescue workers initially rushed him to Vibharam Hospital, just 500 metres from the scene of the incident. However, on arrival, a supervisor and nurse allegedly refused the patient, stating that without his relatives being present, the hospital had no way of recouping the cost of his treatment.
It was also reported today in another article on Thai PBS World that he was refused assistance “because he was a foreigner”.
Paramedics then attempted to get the patient to a government hospital some 10 kilometres away, but he died en route. The tragic death has been widely covered in Taiwanese media and came to light in Thailand after one of the rescue workers posted about it on Facebook.
Now, Dr Sura Wisetsak, chief of the Health Service Support Department, is proposing that Health Minister Cholnan Srikaew file charges against Vibharam Hospital for refusing to treat the critically injured tourist.
The private hospital is currently being investigated to determine if it violated the Medical Facilities Act. The law states that a hospital is obliged to provide medical treatment to an emergency patient until such a point as he or she is no longer in danger.
Facilities found in violation of this law are subject to a fine of up to 40,000 baht and/or imprisonment of up to 2 years.
According to Dr Sura, the National Institute for Emergency Medicine will decide if Vibharam Hospital should also be charged with breaching medical standards for helping an emergency patient. If found to have done so, the hospital could be fined 100,000 baht.
SOURCE: Thai PBS World