THE DEPARTMENT of Health Service Support (DHSS) director-general Dr Nattawut Prasertsiripong said yesterday that the department had ordered Praram 2 Hospital to close its outpatient building immediately.
The hospital had modified its carpark without permission and made it into a facility to treat outpatients, which violates the Health Facility Act. He said the hospital is required to pay an unidentified amount in fines, and also improve its facility in 15 days or face licence revocation.
Meanwhile, Arkhom Praditsuwan, director of the department’s Bureau of Sanatorium and Art of Healing, said yesterday that no one at the hospital has been punished over the November 9 incident in which a woman with acid burns was allegedly denied treatment, and died shortly after arriving at a second hospital.
He said officials will be consulting experts from the Thai College of Emergency Physicians, the National Institute for Emergency Medicine and the Medical Council of Thailand in a bid to determine whether Praram 2 staff had met emergency-medicine standards.
Gathered evidence and expert opinions will be forwarded to a medical ethics subcommittee to decide if punishment is warranted and, if so, what it should be, Arkhom said.
“As a law-upholding authority, this department must ensure justice for both sides, so we have to be thorough in our investigation,” he said.
Meanwhile, Atchariya Ruangratanapong, a lawyer and chairman of a Facebook group for assisting crime victims, said on Facebook Live on Tuesday that a Praram 2 Hospital staff member had already admitted there was no doctor available when the victim arrived. Chorladda Tharawan, 38, was taken to the hospital at 5am after her husband allegedly poured acid on her face. The lawyer said shopping-mall employee, Chorladda, and her 12-year-old daughter, had hailed a taxi to Bang Mod Hospital where she was registered for the universal healthcare scheme. However, the taxi driver suggested they go to Praram 2 Hospital, which was closer, due to the serious nature of the injury, Atchariya said.
He cited the driver as saying that nobody was on stand-by in front of the hospital when the mother and daughter rushed inside. The driver followed them to ensure they were taken to the emergency ward. Four male staff members were present and the driver heard them say that no doctor was available at the time. The driver left the hospital after that.
Atchariya said Praram 2 Hospital did not contact Bang Mod Hospital for patient referral and its two available ambulances were not used to give Chorladda a lift.
By then, Chorladda was unable to walk, and was helped into a taxi by a nursing assistant and another staff member, the lawyer claimed on Facebook Live.
When they arrived at Bang Mod Hospital, the taxi driver shouted for help and hospital staff came to carry Chorladda to the emergency ward. At that time, the driver heard Chorladda say, “I cannot take it anymore.”
The victim was reportedly suffering from a large discharge of fluid from her nose and mouth, and a doctor in Bang Mod Hospital tried to remove the fluid and tried to resuscitate her. The also removed 2,200cc of blood, the lawyer said, but Chorladda died of massive bleeding and respiratory system failure.
Bang Mod Hospital has given police CCTV footage documenting the event after Chorladda arrived at the hospital.
The lawyer said autopsy result initially stated respiratory failure as the cause of death, which was in line with Bang Mod Hospital.
Atchariya said he will file a criminal lawsuit against Praram 2 Hospital’s executives and doctors, saying denial of treatment can be considered recklessness resulting in death and the lack of a doctor barred the patient from receiving proper help.